Ukraine’s President Calls in Sick in the Middle of a Revolution

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Sasha Mordovets / Getty Images

President Yanukovych during a visit to Moscow, Dec. 17,2013.

It’s flu season in Ukraine, revolution or no revolution. Just ask the country’s President.

In a statement published Thursday on the website of President Viktor Yanukovych, his chief doctor announced: “The President of Ukraine is on sick leave due to acute respiratory disease accompanied by fever.” The statement did not say how long the President would be incapacitated.

Yanukovych might have used up the remainder of his strength while suppressing a rebellion within the ranks of his own party on Wednesday night. Some of its lawmakers were refusing to toe the party line in a crucial vote meant to stem the revolution in the streets. So Yanukovych stormed into the chamber to set them straight. But to get there, he had to travel the few city blocks from the presidential headquarters, and the weather outside was atrocious at the time, with fierce winds, snow and temperatures of around -20 Celsius.

The heated scene in the parliament building demonstrated how vital it has become for Yanukovych to keep a firm grip on the dwindling ranks of his supporters. “The President is a big source of authority for us,” said one of his party’s lawmakers, Anna German, after the vote on Wednesday night. “The President said that we cannot allow any bloodshed. That is why we did everything we could” to pass an amnesty for jailed demonstrators.

But with the President out of commission, it will likely become a lot harder for him to keep his party, and his country, from spinning further out of control. Dozens of his party’s lawmakers were reportedly prepared to vote with the opposition on Wednesday, granting further concessions to the protestors, before Yanukovych arrived to reestablish party discipline by threatening to dissolve the parliament. When the chamber reconvenes on Feb. 4, such a situation could well arise again, and it would be a lot harder for a bedridden President to reestablish control over his party.

The protestors, meanwhile, seem to be holding up just fine. Their siege of the center of Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, has forced thousands of them to man barricades that they built mostly from sacks of ice. But the chief doctor of the revolution (yes, it actually has one of those) said during a briefing on Dec. 20 that the level of infections among the protestors is normal. And on Jan. 29, the same day the President seems to have fallen ill, the Ministry of Health confirmed that the revolution has not led to any spike in infections. Well, at least not outside the Presidential palace.

27 comments
andriystaroshchak
andriystaroshchak

Dear foreign journalists! Please make a pressure upon your governments and state authorities. Unfortunately we can see that interest in Europe to the events in Ukraine is decreasing. In case of sanctions against at least one of Ukrainian oligarchs or ministers our way to freedom and democracy will become irreversible.A lot of powerful persons in Ukraine just wait for external signal. Ask (or demand) your governments to provide sanctions!

Please, we really need your help!

Free Ukrainian citizen.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

The Governor of the Kharkiv region, Mikhail Dobkin and deputies of the regional Council from the Party of regions came to the meeting in black t-shirts with the inscription «Berkut». Thus, the deputies have honored memory of law enforcement officers killed in clashes in Kiev. «Today I share the position of the faction regions of the Kharkiv regional Council and also put on a t-shirt with the inscription «Berkut», we support not only of «Berkut»we support all special forces and all police officers, who, today, risking their lives and health, protect public order, preventing the barbarians and the vandals to the pogrom of public buildings and institutions» , - said Mikhail Dobkin.

eagle_blue
eagle_blue

What is going on in Ukraine?

What can we do to restore peace in the area?

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

From the point of view of international law in relations between the U.S. and Ukraine sovereign equality. Ukraine does not wish to become a colony of the USA in the XXI century. Russia send condolences to American taxpayers from the pocket of which was seized according to Victoria Nuland $ 5 billion for revolution in Ukraine with the purpose replace legitimate President of a sovereign country on the star-striped puppet. Russians support the desire of the Ukrainian people to maintain their independence.

famulla555555
famulla555555

As opposition leaders negotiated with President Viktor F. Yanukovich to defuse Ukraine’s violent civil uprising, new evidence emerged of brutality by the authorities, including a video of a protester stripped naked except for boots by a group of officers from the feared Berkut riot police.

The video shows the naked man standing on snow-covered streets, being photographed by one police officer while several others looked on. Another officer is seen grabbing the man by the back of the neck, forcing him to hold an ice scraper, then slapping him on the head and kicking him as he is directed into a police bus. Welts are visible on the man’s back as he climbs into the bus.

The Interior Ministry, which oversees the riot police, issued an apology and said the episode was under investigation.

famulla555555
famulla555555

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovychon Thursday unexpectedly took sick leave from work, stepping aside from a crisis that still has no end in sight after lawmakers failed to find consensus on an amnesty law.

Yanukovych's falling sick with an acute respiratory infection is the latest twist in a crisis that has already seen him accept the resignation of the prime minister in a bid to placate protesters.

The sudden announcement in Kiev came afterthe pro-EU opposition vowed further protests in the ex-Soviet country's worst political crisis since its 1991 independence.

The outcome of the crisis remained unclear, with thousands of demonstrators still occupying Kiev's Independence Square, key streets and municipal buildings in the centre of Kiev.

International concern has grown, with Russian President Vladimir Putin urging the European Union not to meddle in the crisis but Western states under pressure from protesters to consider sanctions against Ukrainian officials.

famulla555555
famulla555555

“The whole thing bears only the sketchiest relationship to reality. EU membership has never been – and very likely never will be – on offer to Ukraine. As in Egypt last year, the president that the protesters want to force out was elected in a poll judged fair by international observers. And many of those on the streets aren’t very keen on democracy at all.

You’d never know from most of the reporting that far-right nationalists and fascists have been at the heart of the protests and attacks on government buildings. One of the three main opposition parties heading the campaign is the hard-right antisemitic Svoboda , whose leader Oleh Tyahnybok claims that a “Moscow-Jewish mafia” controls Ukraine. But US senator John McCain was happy to share a platform with him in Kiev last month.

So in the week that the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army was commemorated as Holocaust Memorial Day, supporters of those who helped carry out the genocide are hailed by western politicians on the streets of Ukraine. But Svoboda has now been outflanked in the protests by even more extreme groups, such as “Right Sector”, who demand a “national revolution” and threaten “prolonged guerrilla warfare”.

Not that they have much time for the EU, which has been pushing Ukraine to sign an association agreement, offering loans for austerity, as part of a German-led drive to open up Ukraine for western companies. It was Viktor Yanukovych’s abandonment of the EU option – after which Putin offered a $15bn bailout.

The main opposition and protest leaders do not offer any kind of genuine alternative, let alone a challenge to the oligarchy that has Ukraine in its grip.”

peterdudycz
peterdudycz

@Sibir_Russia


If  Mr.Putin was a true leader he would tell the leaders of Ukraine to respect the will of the people. And that Russia was willing to support those wishes by the Ukrainian people. With aid  as a partner not as a big bullying brother. People around the world would respect Mr.Putin more and a resolution to the crisis would be found.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@teren  

Victoria Nuland dissatisfied with Ukrainian opposition. Lots of money was spent, but the revolution has not yet occurred in Ukraine . Nuland said the United States will continue to finance the opposition.

 

ViC_ToR
ViC_ToR

@eagle_blue  that is the natural process of cleaning. the people are cleaning their country.

Ukrainian
Ukrainian

@Sibir_Russia You need therapy, like many Russians who want Ukraine to be a part of their hungry and agressive empire. Worry about your own country, please

OscarBrunn
OscarBrunn

@Sibir_RussiaOh, pleeeese "colony of the USA in the XXI century" sounds like a newspaper's frontpage of 80's



richard.draucker
richard.draucker

@peterdudycz @Sibir_Russia  Putin already did that.  Maybe you weren't listening.  That seems to be a real problem with the protesters.  


Further, Yanukovych has done just about everything possible to please the protesters, but no matter what he seems to do, it's not enough.  


Any other nation, especially the western nations, would have put an end to the violent protests a long time ago.  Try to occupy a government building in Germany, the UK, or U.S. and see what happens to you. 


This protest is rapidly starting to look just like the one in Thailand where all the violence is being committed by the protesters and nothing the democratically elected government offers seems to be enough.  


The reason public support in the West is beginning to wain is the actions of the protesters themselves. 


Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@peterdudycz @Sibir_Russia  

Vladimir Putin said that Russia will respect  choice of Ukraine.
Ukraine should hold a referendum to find out the opinion of the majority. Because democracy is the power of the majority in light of the interests and opinions of the minority.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@Ukrainian@Sibir_Russia  

Ukraine’s main trade and economic partner was, and still is, the Russian Federation. All other countries, including Germany and other EU countries, are lagging behind Russia in terms of the volume of foreign trade turnover with Ukraine many times over. In 2012, Germany made up just 8 percent of Ukrainian imports, i.e. four times less than Russia. It is interesting that despite all the calls for «European elections», Russia’s share in Ukraine’s foreign trade turnover has continued to grow in recent years, rather than fall. Between 2009 and 2012, Russia’s share in Ukrainian exports grew from 21.4 percent to 26.5 percent, and in Ukrainian imports from 29.1 percent to 32.4 percent.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@OscarBrunn@Sibir_Russia  

I think the USA can throw out another 3 times-up to 5 billion dollars from the pockets of American taxpayers on the revolution in Ukraine, but it does not give the expected result . And you know why?



ViC_ToR
ViC_ToR

@Sibir_Russia @OscarBrunn чувак, ты разговаривал лично с обычным гражданином Украины, который живет на одну ЗП?

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@peterdudycz @Sibir_Russia  

Vladimir Putin said that Russia will respect  choice of Ukraine.

The majority of Ukrainians do not intend to give its consent on signing the agreement on free trade zone with the EU.  Yanukovych said that should take into account the opinion of the majority of Ukrainians and to hold a referendum on this issue. However, the opposition is afraid of putting this question to a referendum, because the result is predictable.

peterdudycz
peterdudycz

@Sibir_Russia

While I respect your opinion in regard to Russia's contribution to the success of Ukraine. Its past history suggests that it does so with intentions of intimidating the Ukrainian people to submit to its demands instead of acting as  a positive partner. Russia's leaders are missing a great opportunity to connect with the Ukrainian people as democratic partners and not as a bullying big brother. This is a time of true leadership in Russia by Mr,Putin to align himself with the will of the Ukrainian people.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

@OscarBrunn  

"on the border of poornes"???

Are you crazy? Russia at the peak of development in history.

 You know? Russia has significant surplus of foreign currency, which we placed in securities of Ukraine, instead of placing them in U.S. securities. Ukraine's economy is largely dependent on the export of products to Russia. Thus, Russia supported the people of Ukraine, we sustain tens of thousands of jobs, not to a specific power in Ukraine.

 Why Victoria Nuland not likes of the legitimate President of a sovereign country Yanukovych?
Is it not better to allocate such amount from the purse of the American taxpayers to help Ukraine for example, for a stable payment of pensions? You can reply to it?

 

OscarBrunn
OscarBrunn

@Sibir_Russia @OscarBrunn With what purpose RF gave Ukraine a credit while their own country is on the border of poornes..russian taxpayers? you got to be kidding me? With what purpose Foreign country FR demands more foreign countries to not be involved to Ukrainian situation.