Tensions Run High in Kiev as Protestors’ Ultimatum Approaches

Western leaders also increase pressure on government after two confirmed deaths

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Etienne De Malglaive / Getty Images

Protestors clash with riot police on the streets of Hrushevskoho after two protesters were confirmed dead after three consecutive nights of clashes on January 22, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine.

After a rapid and violent turn in the standoff between police and protesters in Kiev, opposition leaders Wednesday evening demanded that Ukrainian President Yanukovych call new elections and scrap harsh anti-protest legislation within 24 hours.

Speaking in front of a crowd of tens of thousands, opposition politician Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that if Yanukovich didn’t meet their demands, “Tomorrow we will go forward together. And if it’s a bullet in the forehead, then it’s a bullet in the forehead.”

For thousands of protestors, Wednesday began with text messages from the government reading: “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.” Police then began tearing down the protesters’ barricades.

Two men were killed when security force opened fire, becoming the first fatalities during the demonstrations, which were launched in November to protest Yanukovych’s U-turn on a trade deal with the E.U.

Opposition figures claim three more people have died, one reportedly after being kidnapped from a hospital, where he was being treated for wounds suffered in a clash with police. Protestors have responded by throwing Molotov cocktails at police, and the Interior Ministry says that dozens of officers have been hospitalized, some with serious injuries. Russia Today also posted a video of what it said was a trebuchet catapult made by protestors for lobbing rocks at police.

Activists have set up a live stream of the disturbances:

Meanwhile, Western leaders have expressed their displeasure at the Ukrainian government’s role in the disturbances, rescinding an invitation to Prime Minister Mykola Azarov to address a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday.

The European Union is considering sending two of its most senior officials to Ukraine over the coming week, in an attempt to pressure the government. E.U. enlargement chief Stefan Füle is planning a visit to the capital on Friday and its foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton may travel there after a trip to Latvia next week. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, an outspoken critic of Ukrainian authorities, said on Monday that it may soon be time for foreign ministers to consider sanctions against Ukraine.

Analysts have debated the opposition leaders’ influence over a protest movement with increasingly unruly elements. On Thursday morning, thousands of demonstrators were gathered on the street where the most recent wave of conflict started on January 19, apparently not heeding the calls for a 24-hour truce. Instead, they were constructing new barricades, stoking fires, piling up stones or throwing them at the police.

[WSJ, AP, Financial Times, BuzzFeed, Kiyv Post, NYT]

29 comments
Leon Woods
Leon Woods

i. sute they will use that time to bring in more troops

major_sunam
major_sunam

so 45 million Ukrainians are supposed to give in to the demands of 55.000 (or less) foreign-backed anarchists and terrorists? It is really beyond insane...Good to know that EU shows its true face of lies and neo-fascist blackmailing. Time to give them a swift slap in the face.

David Jennings
David Jennings

@ Greg Fairweather... But didn't the president back out of closer ties to the EU at the 11th hour, turn 180 and pitch in with Putin, in stark contrast to the populations wishes, and without any legislation? Not exactly democratic either.

Greg Fairweather
Greg Fairweather

The protesters are terrorists no? Demanding things is not democracy. This is lunacy, terrorism calling it anything else is misrepresentation.

Ilie Saftoiu
Ilie Saftoiu

Sa nu uitam asemanarea evenimentelor premergatoare Olimpiadei din China pe la granite , prin Tibet ,cand tot GEORGIA ( IBERIA ) se trezi sa dea in cine nu trebuie de -l facu pe ALA sa strige la sfarsit :"Ale cui sunt jucariile astea sa vina sa le ia ca din greseala le-am calcat si stricat " , si evenimentele premergatoare Olimpiadei de la SOCI Pe praful de pusca nu scrie nici MADE IN RUSIA , nici NICI MADE IN CHINA , din respect pentru partenerii nostrii euroatlantici ( ca sa cuprindem tot globul ) nu spunem de unde MADE IN ...Acum citim pe text : VLADIMIR PUTIN. "Nu vom interzice nimic şi nu vom aresta pe nimeni. La noi nu există responsabilitate (penală) pentru astfel de relaţii, contrar altor ţări ale lumii", ( adica v-o trageti cum vreti ca doar e luna zeului cu 2 fete IAINANUS / ianus / ianuarie "Puteţi să staţi liniştiţi şi relaxaţi, dar lăsaţi copiii în pace"La noi nu există interdicţie pentru forme netradiţionale de relaţii sexuale "La noi, propaganda homosexuală şi pedofilia sunt interzise. Ţin să insist asupra acestui lucru" Cu alte cuvinte ce faci in particular e treaba TA , dar nu iesi ca gaina pe balegar sa faci publicitate la gainatul facut , AI GRIJA DE OU = din el poate iesi un suflet normal !!! Sa recapitulam : Semnarea acordului cu UE era condiţionată de UE de eliberarea fostului premier Iulia Timoşenko Politicul a zis ca nu se baga peste justitie , iar pierderile financiare sunt mari .Yzmenele au raspuns DA ! Vineri, 22 Noiembrie 2013 Putin "am auzit ameninţări din partea partenerilor noştri europeni împotriva Ucrainei, până la favorizarea manifestaţiilor în masă"http://www.realitatea.net/putin-ue-este-cea-care-ameninta... Santaj ordinar cu iulica la timona ! Cea care sustinea ca a fost batuta in stomac in timpul detentiei Pai , astia nici nu stiu sa minta ! Au mancat bataie in viata lor ,sau au vizionat prea multe filme USA ? Iulica apare in poze acuzand ca a fost batuta in stomac aratand CU MANDRIE URMELE UNUI TATUAJ 78 SI NISTE LITERE...Cel mai prost bataus stie ca LOVITURILE LA FICAT , SPLINA SAU RINICHI nu lasa urme vizibile decat la autopsie ...Nu lasa urme de tatuaj ... Luni, 25 Noiembrie 2013 Iulica intra in greva foamei de oftica , parlamentarii nu i-au aprobat eliberarea Yzmenele au raspuns DA ! Miercuri, 27 Noiembrie 2013 Zona cu putere a hotarathttp://www.capital.ro/.../semnaturi-in-sua-pentru... pe 1 Decembrie 2013 Iulica chiama lumea pe strazi http://www.romanialibera.ro/.../un-posibil-conflict-la... Au urmat vizitele de imbarbatare a protestatarilor UE ,USA ..Yzmenele au raspuns DA ! Parca filmul asta l -am vazut in "Primavara araba" prin Libia , Egipt ... Pe acolo au gasit intelectuali ,fosti functionari internationali ...etc.,aici , se trezira sa-si arate muschii Realizeaza cui arata muschii ? Sa nu se scape situatia de sub conrtol ca pe acolo pe la arabi ca pote fi bai mare ... Ca UE , NATO , ONU , FMI , BM sunt remorcile varfului de lance USA nu e o noutate la fel cum nu e noua directia lancii : OMENIREA 1. Populatia lumii trebuie redusa cu 1 miliard 2. Toata lumea sa vorbeasca aceeasi limba 3. Toti sa poarte acelasi tip de haine 4.Toti sa se aprovizioneze din acelasi loc si sa utilizeze doar produsele noastre 5. Toate miscarile fiintelor de pe planeta trebuie sa le cunoastem 6. Credintele si obiceiurile sa fie doar ale noastre 7. Nivelul de saracie sa arate de la cel mai mic la cel mai mare astfel : a.) dupa credinta :chazarii ( vopsiti in 860 dH evrei ) baptistii , reformatii , protestantii , catolicii , ortodocsii , musulmanii b .) dupa culoare : albii si restul galbeni , rosii , negri 8. Cei care scapa sunt poftiti in Gradinile zoologice , pardon , Rezervatii naturale Se zice ca satana pune stapanire pe noi doar cu acordul nostru , ar fi bine sa recitim povestea Omului care a crescut un sarpe la san . " Michael V. Hayden, fost şef al CIA are toate tiglele pe casa ? Par nu prea pe cap ..." Numărul de luptători străini (inclusiv europeni) care se îmbulzesc în Siria depăşeşte în realitate rata de sosirea lor în Irak atunci când războiul american era la apogeu acolo." Sa intelegem ca in Siria ca si in Irak războiul american a avut un apogeu si acolo. NASOL nene ... Fiecare pasare pe limba ei piere ... Cati ca voi .cati ca voi pitigoi a suportat omenirea ? DUMNEZEU NE JUDECA NU CULCA -TE ... NE DA CU MASURA DUPA FAPTA SI RASPLATA .

Maíra Áspera
Maíra Áspera

Ps.:obrigada pela preocupacao (acho que nao agradeci ai rm cima rs) Pietro Zanella

Maíra Áspera
Maíra Áspera

To de brinks contigo, besta! Bem, eu ja tinha acertado tudo, entao eh isso..amanha seja o que deus quiser Pietro Zanella

Pietro Zanella
Pietro Zanella

Prefiro "medir" minha masculinidade de outra forma. Hahahahahha Maíra Áspera

Paloma Savaengcharoen
Paloma Savaengcharoen

This is extremely sad to see. I worry Thailand might look like this next. We have state of emergency that started yesterday. Things are not looking so great here in Bangkok :(

Pietro Zanella
Pietro Zanella

Ja desisti dessa porra, pelo menos a curto prazo. Maíra Áspera --'

Maíra Áspera
Maíra Áspera

Kkkkk Ta todo mundo me marcando nessas coisas e me mandando inbox kkk Mas valeu, Pietro Zanella!

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

The majority of the population of Ukraine does not want the signing of a free trade zone with the European Union.

major_sunam
major_sunam

Ukraine has not signed anything with the EU, s EU has no right to interfere here. What can EU give Ukraine - exept for big empty words? Ukraines industry will be destroyed as that of Romania and Bulgaria if they join. And its not even about "joining", just soem vague "association", which means no obligations for Brussels but all obligations for Ukraine. It was good they cancelled this suicidal deal. Hell, the EU is lyig to Turkey about their accession, how will they swallow Ukraine? EU's fascist methods and fake "Arab spring" style revolutions will come to an end. In a very unpleasant way. They are begging for it.