Ukraine's political crisis

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J. Abizeid

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Ukraine's political crisis

(CNN) -- For three months, they've staked their claim to Kiev's Maidan, or Independence Square, and to Ukraine itself. We will leave only when you pull closer to the European Union, when you change the constitution, when you alter the government's power structure, they have loudly insisted.
But why?
Why have thousands of protesters staked their lives, seemingly, on their desire for political change? And why has the government resisted their calls so vehemently?
Questions that relate to human nature, of people with strong interests or passions refusing to budge, can't be answered easily. But a look at Ukraine's distant and more recent history, as well as the players involved, can shed light on what's going on and what might happen next:
Ukraine through a protester's eyes
What makes Ukraine unique,important?
A nation of 45 million people, Ukraine is the biggest frontier nation separating Russia and the European Union.
Until 1991, it was part of the Soviet Union. But when that communist nation collapsed following the fall of the Berlin Wall, Ukraine -- like several other Soviet states -- was forced to reinvent itself.
But it didn't do so alone.
Players outside took an interest and took action. Ukraine is something of a pawn between Russia and the West.
The European Union, with backing of the United States, has been working on its relations with former Soviet bloc countries for more than two decades, with the aim of restoring democratic rule and improving quality of life for Ukrainians.
It views the decision by Ukraine, the largest of the former republics, not to partner more with the EU as bowing to Russian pressure.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied that Moscow is exerting undue influence in Ukraine.
Last month, he insisted, "Russia has always respected, is respecting and will respect the sovereign rights of all the international entities including new states that emerged after breakdown of the Soviet Union."
But many don't believe him, claiming that his government's offers of aid to Ukraine constitute meddling in an attempt to tighten ties between the former Soviet states.
This alignment hurts Ukraine, these opposition activists say. Whereas other states, like Poland, that were once under Soviet control only to turn later more toward the West have thrived, Ukraine's economy has stumbled.
Its government has also been slow to embrace Western ideals when it comes to politics and human rights, not to mention good governance: Ukraine is ranked 144 out of 177 countries in Transparency International's corruption index.
Why are Russia and the EU central to the protest?
The recent protests are a byproduct in large part of the East-West tensions in Ukraine. The pro-European camp is stronger in Ukraine's west, while the eastern part of the nation aligns more closely with Russia.
In November, thousands spilled onto the streets after President Viktor Yanukovych did a U-turn over a trade pact with the European Union that had been years in the making -- favoring closer relations with Russia instead.
Angered by this backpedaling, the demonstrators demanded the EU deal be signed, saying it would strengthen cooperation with the bloc.
Their daily protests soon escalated, drawing parallels to Ukraine's 2004 Orange Revolution that toppled the government.
But with Ukraine desperately in need of a cash injection, Kiev cited the need for financial assistance if it were to do business with the EU. Yanukovych, who has been in power since 2010, said that Ukraine could not afford to sign the EU deal -- alluding to economic pressure from Russia.
Another factor in Yanukovych's decision not to sign the deal is likely to have been the EU's demands that he release from jail former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, his political opponent. The Orange Revolution that swept then-prime minister Yanukovych out in 2004 also brought Tymoshenko to power.
"The changes that occurred after the Orange Revolution weren't simply deep enough. This time around, it appears that the disenchantment is so strong that there is a genuine opportunity to make a fresh start," said Dalibor Rohac, policy analyst with the Cato Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity.
"For Ukrainians this is a chance to get on a different trajectory from the one the country has been on for the past 22 years and become eventually a part of prosperous, democratic Europe."
Tellingly, the European Union and particularly the United States have been outspoken in support of protesters.
On the flip side, Russia has backed Ukraine's government. Callingprotesters' actions setting up barricades and more as "provocative steps," Russia's foreign ministry expressed "hope the opposition in Ukraine will renounce threats and ultimatums."
What abouttalk of constitutional reform?
The disputes aren't just about money or whether Ukraine aligns more with the European Union or Russia. It's also about power.
Yes, many in the opposition have called for the ouster of Yanukovych and the ordering of new elections.
But both on the streets and in parliament, they've also pushed to alter the government's overall power structure, feeling that too much of it rests with Yanukovych and not enough with parliament.
That thinking has been behind numerous opposition proposals in recent weeks to alter Ukraine's laws and, more fundamentally, its constitution.
The government has offered some concessions, but not enough to satisfy the opposition.
Yanukovych has hardly loosened his grip on the government, nor has he seemingly reined in authorities' approach to protesters -- as evidenced by intensified clashes in recent weeks.
Why has the situation grown more tense?
Whatever his exact motivation, after backing away from the EU deal, Yanukovych flew to Moscow, where he and Putin announced Russia would buy $15 billion in Ukrainian debt and slash the price Kiev pays for its gas.
That move upset demonstrators. But what inflamed them even more was the adoption of a sweeping anti-protest law in mid-January.
The new law included provisions barring people from wearing helmets and masks to rallies and from setting up tents or sound equipment without prior police permission.
This sparked concerns it could be used to put down demonstrations and deny people the right to free speech -- and clashes soon escalated.
That includes not only occupying Kiev's central Independence Square, but also blocking other streets and government buildings. The demonstrators took over City Hall for the better part of three months.
Amid intense pressure, deputies loyal to Yanukovych backtracked and overturned that anti-protest law.
The protests continued, as did on-again, off-again conversations between opposition and government officials.
On Sunday, protesters vacated Kiev's City Hall, unblocked a major street and left other government buildings in exchange for the government dropping charges against those arrested, opposition parliament member Arsen Avakov said. This came two days after the country's attorney general announced that 243 protesters had been freed, though charges against them remained.
Any breakthrough was a distant memory by Tuesday. The speaker of parliament's refusal to allow amendments that would have limited the president's powers and restored the constitution to what it was in 2004 angered many in the opposition.
Whoever started them, fresh clashes ensued on the streets of Kiev, leading to at least 19 deaths by early Wednesday.
As Arseniy Yatsenyuk, an opposition leader, urged Yanukovych to "pull back the police and announce a cease-fire" so negotiations could resume, the government pinned the blame for the latest violence squarely on protesters.
"The truce has been broken," said prosecutor general Viktor Pshonka. "For the sake of pursuing their own political interests, they neglected all previously reached agreements and put lives and the peace of millions of Kiev residents under threat."
Ukraine protests - 5 things you need to know
Who makes up the opposition?
Without doubt, Yanukovych is the face of the Ukrainian government. Other than a few days he took off to fight off a respiratory infection, Yanukovych has been leading the way in dealing with the domestic and international aspects of the crisis.
In addition to controlling his government, his allies in parliament have done numerous things in recent weeks that have inflamed the opposition and also attempted (unsuccessfully) to assuage them.
So who is the opposition that Yanukovych and his allies are at odds with?
It's not just one figure, but a coalition.
The biggest and most well known figure is Vitali Klitschko. A former world champion boxer (just like his brother Wladimir), Klitschko heads the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms party.
In a sign of his influence, it was Klitschko who went to Yanukovych's office late Tuesday for talks, according to his spokesperson.
But the oppositon bloc goes well beyond Klitschko.
Yatsenyuk heads the Fatherland party. And Oleh Tiahnybok is the leader of the Freedom party, or Svoboda.
These opposition leaders have been talking with Yanukovych's camp.
In late January, the president offered a package of concessions under which Yatsenyuk would have become the prime minister and, under the president's offer, been able to dismiss the government.
He also offered Klitschko the post of deputy prime minister on humanitarian issues and also agreed to a working group looking at changes to the constitution. But the opposition refused.
"No deal @ua_yanukovych, we're finishing what we started. The people decide our leaders, not you," Yatsenyuk tweeted.
Why Ukraine's future lies with the EU, not Russia
What's been the impact of crisis outside Ukraine?
February was supposed to be Russia's -- and, by connection, Putin's -- chance to shine with the Winter Olympics in the Black Sea city of Sochi.
Instead, the spiraling Ukraine unrest has snared some of that attention, as well as increased the focus on the Russian government's part in it.
The ordeal has also shone a spotlight on seeming discord within the ranks of the opposition's international allies.
A leaked audio recording of a phone call allegedly catches a U.S. diplomat to Europe using profanity to express strong frustrations with inaction and indecision by the European Union in resolving the crisis.
U.S. officials suggested that Moscow probably tapped a call -- believed to include State Department official Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt -- and leaked it out of concern about a potential deal between the government and opposition. The recording was posted to YouTube.
In the conversation, a man refers to Klitschko as the opposition's "top dog" but suggests he's too inexperienced to hold a government post. A woman who sounds like Nuland (though neither she nor the State Department confirmed it's her voice) then refers to a perceived lack of pressure that the European Union is exerting on Yanukovych, stating, "f**k the EU."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the use of such language "unacceptable," according to a spokeswoman.
What's next?
Opposition and government leaders have talked for weeks. Top international diplomats have been involved in trying to resolve the crisis.
And yet, seemingly, it's only gotten worse.
One open-ended question is how much worse will it get. Assuming they back off, what tools and techniques will authorities use to clamp down on dissenters? Might the government and/or the opposition accept concessions to end this all peacefully?
All good questions, all seemingly impossible to answer at this point.
Regardless, the world is watching.

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Ukrainian protesters clash with riot police in Kiev's Independence Square on Tuesday, February 18. Thousands of anti-government demonstrators have packed Independence Square since November, when President Viktor Yanukovych reversed a decision to sign a trade deal with the European Union and instead turned toward Russia.
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Protesters fight with riot police during a new wave of violent clashes February 18 in Kiev.
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Protesters burn a car in central Kiev on February 18.
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A protester stands atop a barricade in Kiev on February 18.
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Anti-government protesters clash with riot police outside Ukraine's parliament in Kiev on February 18.
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A rainbow forms over a protester ducking for cover in Kiev on February 18.
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Riot police protect themselves during clashes in Kiev on February 18.
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A protester is engulfed in flames while running from the clashes in Kiev on February 18.
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Riot police detain a protester in Kiev on February 18.
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Protesters invade the main office of the ruling Party of Regions in Kiev on February 18.
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Riot police shield themselves during clashes with protesters on February 18.
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Protesters throw stones toward riot police in Kiev on February 18.
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A protester holds a Ukrainian flag in Independence Square on Tuesday, February 4.
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A protester smokes a cigarette while standing guard in Kiev on February 4.
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Protesters keep an eye on police February 4 as they man a barricade in Kiev.
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A protester is reflected in a broken mirror during protests in Kiev on Monday, February 3.
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A masked anti-government protester shouts slogans during demonstrations on Sunday, February 2.
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A large crowd of protesters gathers in Kiev on February 2.
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Opposition supporters warm themselves in Kiev on Saturday, February 1.
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A protester stands on top of barricades in Kiev on Tuesday, January 28.
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Protesters sit behind a barricade in Kiev on January 28.
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Protesters march in Kiev on Monday, January 27. Activists say they want wide-ranging constitutional reform and a shake-up of the Ukrainian political system.
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Police block a street in Kiev on January 27.
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A couple try to keep warm near a fire at a barricade in Kiev on January 27.
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Riot police block a Kiev street from protesters on January 27.
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Protesters stand guard inside the Ukraine Justice Ministry in Kiev on January 27. Demonstrators later left the building because they didn't want to create any difficulties in negotiations between the government and opposition, a protest leader said. Protesters repositioned themselves outside and blocked access to the building, the leader said.
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Orthodox priests lead the funeral service for slain protester Mikhail Zhiznevsky in Kiev on Sunday, January 26.
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Riot police officers stand in line during anti-government protests in Kiev on Saturday, January 25.
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An Orthodox priest prays during protests on January 25.
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Some 10,000 Ukrainians take part in the funeral ceremony of dead protester Yuri Verbytsky in the western city of Lviv on Friday, January 24.
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A line of Ukrainian riot police block a road on January 24.
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A protester puts on a gas mask near Dynamo Stadium in Kiev on January 24.
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Ukrainian Oksana Tikhomirova cries as she urges riot police to stop the violence outside a government district in central Kiev on January 24.
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Molotov cocktails sit in a basket ready to be used by protesters in Kiev on January 24.
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Riot police stand guard near Dynamo Stadium on January 24.
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A protester passes past graffiti that reads "Government for People" in the Ministry of Agricultural Policy building in Kiev on January 24.
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A man walks past the wreckage of a car on January 24.
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Ukrainian protesters use a huge catapult to throw stones at riot police as tires burn in Kiev on Thursday, January 23.
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Riot police officers gather in Kiev on January 23.
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Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko, center, addresses protesters near the burning barricades between police and protesters in central Kiev on January 23.
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Riot police stand guard near a burnt-out bus covered in icicles in Kiev on January 23.
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A protester walks past burning tires in Kiev on January 23.
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A protester shoots fireworks at police during clashes in Kiev on January 23.
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A protester carries tires toward a fire on January 23.
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Riot police officers line up in Kiev during clashes on Wednesday, January 22.
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A protester throws a Molotov cocktail on January 22.
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Protesters shoot from behind a shield among burning automobile tires in Kiev on January 22.
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Riot police officers gather as they clash with protesters in the center of Kiev on January 22.
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A protester throws a Molotov cocktail during clashes with police in central Kiev.
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Ukrainian protesters are seem during a mass action of opposition on Grushevsky Street.
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A protester throws a stone in front of a plume of fire and smoke during clashes with police in central Kiev.
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Flames leap off a protester during clashes with police on January 22.
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A police officer aims his shotgun during clashes with protesters.
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Paramedics put a wounded man on a stretcher and into a medical vehicle.
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Ukrainian police storm protesters' barricades in Kiev amid violent clashes on January 22.
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A European integration supporter is seen in Independence Square.
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Protesters are seen in front of burning tires on Grushevsky Street.
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A medic treats an injured protester's leg during violent clashes between demonstrators and police.
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A Ukrainian man stands in front of riot police on January 22.
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Protesters clash with police in Kiev as snow falls on January 22.


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  • EuroMode

    Active Member
    #3
    It took you a while to open a thread for Ukraine crisis even its going on since a month now :lalala: , on the other hand don't tell me soon you will open a thread about Thailand :whoo:
     

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    #4
    It took you a while to open a thread for Ukraine crisis even its going on since a month now :lalala: , on the other hand don't tell me soon you will open a thread about Thailand :whoo:
    I must count till ten nowadays before I open a new thread from fear of personal attacks and accusations as being utterly unpatriotic…:decision:
     

    LebReporter

    Well-Known Member
    #5
    'They crossed a line': Ukraine president blames opposition for violence as '25 die' in deadliest clashes yet

    Ukraine-REUTERS.jpg




    The Ukrainian president has blamed the country's opposition for violence engulfing Kiev's Independence Square after 25 people were reportedly killed in the city's bloodiest clashes since the former Soviet republic won its independence.

    Anti-government protesters, many of them masked, have poured back onto the streets this morning, preparing to confront police for a second day.

    Viktor Yanukovich released a statement on Wednesday, saying opposition leaders "crossed a line when they called people to arms" as riot police battled with protesters occupying the square.

    Mr Yanukovych said opposition leaders had to "draw a boundary between themselves and radical forces," or else "acknowledge that they are supporting radicals". He warned: "then the conversation ... will already be of a different kind."

    The defiant tone of the statement quashed hopes of a compromise to resolve the crisis, which erupted three months ago when Yanukovich decided against signing a free trade and association agreement with the European Union, choosing instead to increase ties with Russia.

    After hours of clashes, police were gaining ground in Independence Square but demonstrators managed to find protection behind a burning barricade of tires and wood.

    Shrouded in plumes of black smoke, police attempted to extinguish the fire with two water cannons but protesters responded by hurling petrol bombs at the police vehicles, a Reuters cameraman said.

    Police have gained control of almost half the square and several floors of a trade union building, used as an anti-government headquarters, were engulfed in flames as dawn was breaking.

    At least 14 protesters and seven policemen were killed in violence that erupted yesterday and continued into the early hours of today. The Ukrainian health ministry put the number dead at 25 this morning.

    Many were killed by gunshot and hundreds of people were injured, with dozens in serious condition, police and opposition representatives said.

    Snipers were reported to be deliberately targeting protest leaders who took to a stage to rally supporters.

    One journalist was reportedly shot dead.

    Alarmed Western governments demanded restraint and dialogue. US Vice President Joe Biden called Yanukovich, urging him to pull back government forces and exercise maximum restraint, the White House said.

    Ukraine-2-REUTERS.jpg


    Opposition leaders Vitali Klitschko and Arseny Yatsenyuk said that they had ended talks with President Viktor Yanukovich without coming to a joint agreement on how to end the violence.

    “The government must immediately withdraw troops and put an end to the bloody conflict, because people are dying. I told Yanukovich this,” Klitschko said after the late night talks. “How can we hold talks while blood is being shed?”

    The unrest has spread to at least three cities in the western part of the country. Police said protesters had seized regional administration headquarters in the cities of Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv. Media said protesters torched the main police station in the city of Ternopil.

    The authorities have restricted traffic coming into the capital to prevent reinforcements from reaching protesters and shut down the underground.

    Earlier, the state security service set a deadline for the demonstrators to end disorder or face “tough measures”. Then the police advanced to the square before launching a full assault in the early hours, throwing stun grenades and using water cannons.

    Western powers warned Yanukovich against trying to smash the pro-European demonstrations, urging him to turn back to the EU and the prospect of an IMF-supported economic recovery, while Russia accused them of meddling.

    Ukraine-3-REUTERS.jpg


    “We are now facing of one of the most dramatic episodes in Ukrainian history,” opposition leader Yatsenyuk said in a video message after emergency talks with the president failed.

    As the security forces moved forward, Klitschko, a former world champion boxer, reacted defiantly, telling supporters on the square: “We will not leave here. This is an island of freedom. We will defend it.”

    Earlier yesterday, the State Security Service (SBU), in a joint statement with the Interior Ministry, signalled the government's intentions. “If by 6 pm the disturbances have not ended, we will be obliged to restore order by all means envisaged by law,” they said.

    The riot police moved in hours after Moscow gave Ukraine $2 billion in aid for its crippled economy that it had been holding back to demand decisive action to crush the protests.

    Independent
     

    Rising Phoenix

    Well-Known Member
    #6
    أوكرانيا: مراقبون: موسكو أعطت الضوء الأخضر للرئيس الأوكراني لحسم الموقف فورا قبل ان تفقد السلطة هيبتها وسيطرتها على البلاد

    روسيا: الخارجية الروسية تدين بأشد العبارات جرائم المتطرفين في اوكرانيا وتنتقد تواطؤ رموز المعارضة وتردد الغرب في إدانة العنف

     

    Hyperbole

    Active Member
    #8
    Sometimes, I wish someone would stick it to the EU and the US by toying with their countries of influence. For what they're doing in the Ukraine, Russia should get back at them by destabilizing a certain oil-rich wahhabist monarchy.
     

    ecce homo

    Well-Known Member
    #9
    La Russie dénonce une tentative de coup d'Etat en Ukraine


    MOSCOU (AFP) - La Russie a dénoncé mercredi une tentative de coup d'Etat en Ukraine et a exigé des leaders de l'opposition qu'ils fassent cesser les violences et reprennent le dialogue avec le pouvoir légitime.

    Sur le fond, il s'agit d'une tentative de coup d'Etat, a déclaré le ministère russe des Affaires étrangères dans un communiqué. La partie russe exige que les leaders (de l'opposition) fassent cesser l'effusion de sang dans leur pays, reprennent sans délai le dialogue avec le pouvoir légitime, sans menaces ni ultimatum, a ajouté la diplomatie russe.

    Cette position a également été énoncée par le porte-parole du président russe Vladimir Poutine, Dmitri Peskov.

    Celui-ci a confirmé à l'agence Ria Novosti que MM. Poutine et Ianoukovitch s'étaient parlé au téléphone dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi, alors que de violents affrontements avaient déjà fait plusieurs morts à Kiev.

    Il y a effectivement eu une telle conversation hier (mardi) soir, a déclaré M. Peskov.

    Dans d'autres déclarations, il a cependant ajouté que M. Poutine ne donnait pas de conseils à son homologue.

    Le président russe n'a jamais donné et ne donne pas de conseils à son homologue ukrainien sur ce qu'il faut faire ou ne pas faire, et n'a pas l'intention d'en donner à l'avenir, a déclaré M. Peskov, cité par l'agence Interfax.

    L'opposition ukrainienne accuse le président Ianoukovitch de s'être plié au diktat du Kremlin depuis qu'il a renoncé en novembre à un accord d'association en préparation avec l'UE, et s'est tourné vers Moscou.

    M. Ianoukovitch a eu une rencontre à Sotchi le 7 février avec M. Poutine en marge de l'ouverture des jeux Olympiques d'hiver, dont rien n'a filtré.

    Leur rencontre précédente avait eu lieu le 17 décembre à Moscou, lorsque M. Poutine avait accordé un crédit de 15 milliards de dollars et une baisse du prix du gaz à l'Ukraine, après que M. Ianoukovitch avait renoncé à signer l'accord d'association avec l'Union européenne, en préparation depuis trois ans.

    L'Ukraine est pour la Russie un Etat ami et frère, un partenaire stratégique et nous allons utiliser toute notre influence pour que la paix et le calme reviennent dans ce pays, a par ailleurs déclaré le ministère des Affaires étrangères dans son communiqué.

    La diplomatie russe avait fait savoir mardi qu'elle considérait le regain de violence à Kiev comme le résultat de la politique des Occidentaux, qu'elle accuse d'avoir soutenu l'opposition ukrainienne contre le pouvoir légitime.


    Violences en Ukraine: le gouvernement doit rendre des comptes


    LONDRES (AFP) - Le gouvernement ukrainien devrait rendre des comptes pour la violence inacceptable contre les manifestants à Kiev, a déclaré mercredi le ministre britannique des Affaires étrangères William Hague sur Twitter.

    La violence contre les manifestants pacifiques est inacceptable et le gouvernement ukrainien devrait rendre des comptes, a écrit William Hague.

    Il a également confirmé qu'il assisterait jeudi à Bruxelles à une réunion de crise des ministres des Affaires étrangères de l'UE, qui doivent discuter de sanctions contre le régime du président Viktor Ianoukovitch.

    De violents affrontements ont éclaté mardi à Kiev entre manifestants de l'opposition et policiers. Ils se sont poursuivis dans la nuit. Selon le ministère ukrainien de la Santé, ils ont fait 25 morts.


    Ukraine: Hollande demande à l'UE d'envisager dès jeudi des sanctions ciblées


    PARIS - Le président français François Hollande a appelé l'Union européenne à engager dès jeudi des sanctions ciblées et rapides contre les responsables des violences policières inacceptables en Ukraine, a annoncé mercredi l'Elysée dans un communiqué.

    Il a demandé à l'Union Européenne d'engager très rapidement les décisions permettant la mise en oeuvre de ces sanctions lors de la réunion du Conseil Affaires étrangères le 20 février, a déclaré la présidence française.

    Le texte a été publié à l'issue d'un entretien téléphonique du président français avec le Premier ministre polonais, Donald Tusk.

    Les deux responsables ont convenu de la nécessité de sanctions européennes rapides et ciblées à l'encontre des principaux responsables des violences policières inacceptables survenues en Ukraine, a précisé l'Elysée.

    La France considère que les responsables doivent répondre de leurs actes et que des sanctions individuelles doivent être examinées par l'Union européenne, avait déclaré un peu plus tôt en Conseil des ministres le chef de l'Etat, cité par la porte-parole du gouvernement, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.

    La porte-parole avait évoqué le gel des avoirs à l'étranger et l'interdiction de visas pour les responsables des violences, qui ont fait au moins 25 morts la nuit dernière en Ukraine.

    Il faut faire preuve d'efficacité en termes de sanctions, a-t-elle insisté, tout en relevant qu'il faudrait au préalable déterminer les responsabilités dans ces violences.

    Le chef de la diplomatie française, Laurent Fabius, a annoncé pour sa part une délibération avec nos amis allemands et probablement (des) sanctions, s'exprimant à l'issue d'un conseil des ministres ordinaire réuni avant le Conseil franco-allemand qui a ouvert ses travaux en milieu de journée.

    On ne va pas rester dans l'indifférence, avait enchaîné M. Fabius, en relevant que les événements en Ukraine se produisaient à quelques centaines de kilomètres de chez nous.

    Ce qui s'est passé cette nuit... c'est évidemment une horreur et cela ne peut que susciter l'indignation. Il faut retourner le plus vite possible à une situation apaisée et que les uns et les autres arrivent au dialogue, a poursuivi le ministre. Mais les gens qui sont responsables de cela ne peuvent pas rester impunis, avait-il insisté.
     

    HannaTheCrusader

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    #10
    Sometimes, I wish someone would stick it to the EU and the US by toying with their countries of influence. For what they're doing in the Ukraine, Russia should get back at them by destabilizing a certain oil-rich wahhabist monarchy.
    you see hameed is right

    that moumana3a BS axis, all they do is sit and wait to be hit

    let them go on the offensive for once
    ye3ni russia almost sold syria on the chemical issue
    and now the usa wont rest until they take ukraine and next bellarussia
    what are they waiting for ??????????

    they are too weak to respond IMHO< same goes for iran and syria and even china

    they are like dear caught in headlight
     
    #11
    Russia is a *****. It won't do anything regarding Ukraine, and it also kneeled when it comes to syria but it is struggling in syria because it knows that any new leadership in syria that doesn't antagonize israel is going to be an american tool and at the same time it is stripping syria and the whole axis of anything that allows them to face israel, so basically Russia is walking on thin ice. However, I understand why they don't attack Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has fooled everyone into thinking that despite it creating the "salafist jihadism" it is also the only entity capable of controlling them. Saudi Arabia has made recent deals with Russia to exclude the Muslim Brotherhood too. It is basically accepting the activities of saudi arabia thinking that dealing with it can contain islamism instead of having that same islamism but without control.

    But when it comes to Ukraine, lol @ Russia. This is like when the Americans and British removed democratically elected Mousadeq and put the shah instead.
     

    Hyperbole

    Active Member
    #12
    مراسل الميادين: العملة الوطنية الروسية تتراجع بشكل ملحوظ على خلفية الأحداث في اوكرانيا
     

    JB81

    Legendary Member
    #13
    Russia is a *****. It won't do anything regarding Ukraine, and it also kneeled when it comes to syria but it is struggling in syria because it knows that any new leadership in syria that doesn't antagonize israel is going to be an american tool and at the same time it is stripping syria and the whole axis of anything that allows them to face israel, so basically Russia is walking on thin ice. However, I understand why they don't attack Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has fooled everyone into thinking that despite it creating the "salafist jihadism" it is also the only entity capable of controlling them. Saudi Arabia has made recent deals with Russia to exclude the Muslim Brotherhood too. It is basically accepting the activities of saudi arabia thinking that dealing with it can contain islamism instead of having that same islamism but without control.

    But when it comes to Ukraine, lol @ Russia. This is like when the Americans and British removed democratically elected Mousadeq and put the shah instead.
    It is expected that nations act rationally. If Russia cannot defend its clients in Ukraine, than it's projection power verses that of the US and Europe is weaker than expected.
     

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    #14
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26265808

    19 February 2014 Last updated at 16:04 ET Share this page

    Ukraine President Yanukovych sacks army chief amid crisis



    _73092331_73092330.jpg



    Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has sacked the head of the armed forces, Col Gen Volodymyr Zamana, according to the president's website.
    The move comes after the most intense violence in Ukraine's three-month crisis turned Kiev into a battle zone.
    Earlier the state security service announced it was launching a nationwide "anti-terrorist" campaign to deal with a growing "extremist threat".
    There was a suggestion the armed forces could be deployed for the first time.
    Col Gen Zamana has been replaced by the commander of Ukraine's navy, Admiral Yuriy Ilyin, by presidential decree, President Yanukovych's website said.

    _73088283_zamana.jpg
    No explanation has been given for the sacking of Col Gen Zamana

    The news comes after the most deadly violence in Ukraine's post-Soviet history erupted on Tuesday and overnight.
    At least 26 people died, mainly in Kiev, as protesters wielding petrol bombs and paving stones tried to defend their encampment in the central Independence Square from police using rubber bullets and stun grenades.
    The crisis was triggered when President Yanukovych pulled out of an association deal with the EU.
    Since late November, that decision has fostered a militant protest movement intent on seeing him ousted from power.
    Apocalyptic It is so far unclear what prompted Mr Yanukovych's decision to dismiss the commander-in-chief of the armed forces - who has been in place two years and a day, according to his official biography.
    But it came hours after the head of the top security agency, Oleksandr Yakimenko, said an "anti-terrorist operation" was being launched after "extremist groups" seized government buildings and arms depots.
    Mr Yakimenko did not provide details of what the anti-terrorist operation would involve, but he did say that - according to Ukrainian law - the country's interior ministry, border guards and armed forces could become involved.
    Ukraine's defence ministry has also said it is redeploying units around the country to guard military facilities.
    Several European leaders have condemned the Ukrainian leadership for the violence.

    _73091054_73091053.jpg
    Clashes between protesters and police continued on Wednesday in Kiev
    _73091058_73091057.jpg
    The protests have attracted Ukrainians from all walks of life
    The foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland are to meet in Kiev on Thursday to assess the situation before an EU meeting in Brussels to decide whether to impose sanctions against Ukraine.
    US President Barack Obama warned there "will be consequences" for anyone who steps over the line in Ukraine - including the military intervening in a situation that civilians should resolve.
    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said in a statement the use of violence in Ukraine "by any side is totally unacceptable" and urged the authorities to "desist from the use of excessive force".
    Russia, meanwhile, has characterised the violence as an "attempted coup" by extremists it says are egged on by Western countries.
    The protests began in late November, when President Yanukovych rejected a landmark association and trade deal with the EU in favour of closer ties with Russia.
    _73096284_73096281.jpg



    Ukraine's crisis explained - in 60 seconds

    Tensions had begun to subside as recently as Monday, when protesters ended their occupation of government buildings in Kiev in return for an amnesty from prosecution.
    But violence erupted outside parliament on Tuesday morning as government supporters blocked opposition attempts to scale back the president's constitutional powers. They argued more time was needed to discuss the proposals.
    Police have been trying to wrest control of Kiev's Independence Square, also known as the Maidan, which has been in the hands of protesters for several months.
    In apocalyptic scenes overnight on Tuesday, protesters hurled paving stones, fireworks and petrol bombs while police used water cannon and stun grenades. Both sides accused the other of using live ammunition.
    On Wednesday, the violence subsided but there were still periodic clashes and protesters are reported to have seized the central post office.
    _73091062_73091061.jpg
    Kiev's Independence Square resembles a war zone
    _73097640_ee0dd957-62f3-432a-854d-b1894a5a3947.jpg
    But the protests are not confined to Kiev - in Lviv in the west, protesters seized police headquarters
    _73093769_ukrainenighteuters.jpg
    Protesters' barricades continue to burn into the night on Wednesday in Independence Square
    The health minister says at least 600 people have been wounded, more than half of them police officers.
    Continue reading the main story Key dates


    • 21 November 2013: Ukraine suspends preparations for a trade deal with the EU, triggering protests
    • 30 November: Riot police take action against protesters, injuring dozens and fuelling anger
    • 17 December: Russia agrees to buy Ukrainian government bonds and slash price of gas sold to Ukraine, taking wind out of protest movement
    • 25 December: Renewed outcry after anti-government activist and journalist Tetyana Chornovol is beaten
    • 19 January: Protests take a violent turn as demonstrators torch police buses and throw petrol bombs; police respond with rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon. Several die in following days
    • 18 February: Bloodiest day of the clashes sees many civilians and police officers killed


    Unrest has also been reported outside Kiev, with a woman reportedly shot dead during an attempt to storm a building belonging to the security services in Khmelnytskyy.
    Protesters seized regional administrative and police buildings in the western city of Lviv, and occupations and attacks on police buildings were also reported in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil and elsewhere.
    The number of dead on both sides has climbed to 26 and it is feared the death toll could increase. As well as the woman reportedly shot in Khmelnytskyy, those killed include:

    • Ten police officers, according to the interior ministry, two of them traffic officers
    • At least 14 protesters, many killed in the streets around the parliament
    • A journalist working for Russian-language newspaper Vesti, Vyacheslav Veremyi, who was pulled from a taxi by masked men and shot dead
    'Crossed the line' Opposition leaders Vitaly Klitschko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk met President Yanukovych for late-night talks on Tuesday but failed to come to an agreement.
    In a statement broadcast on TV news channels on Wednesday morning, President Yanukovych said: "The opposition leaders have disregarded the principle of democracy according to which one obtains power not on the streets or maidans - but through elections.
    "They have crossed the line by calling for people to take up arms."
    "This is an island of freedom and we will defend it," said Mr Klitschko, the former boxer and leader of the Udar (Punch) party.
    Mr Yatsenyuk, who heads the Fatherland party, appealed to President Yanukovych to "stop the bloodshed and call a truce".
    The state of Ukraine's stagnating economy is a major factor in the crisis. After 18 months in recession, the country is facing a rising trade and budget deficit, and mounting foreign debt.
    The European Investment Bank (EIB), the EU's soft loan branch, said it had frozen its activities in Ukraine on Wednesday. Since 2007, it has invested more the $2bn (£1.2bn) in Ukraine in projects including the extension of a metro line, and modernisation of ***-traffic control facilities.
    Earlier this week, Russia said it would resume aid payments to Ukraine as part of the a $15bn (£9bn) loan plan agreed in December. But the Russian president's spokesman, Dmitry Peskovhas, has since said that the next Russian bailout payment was on hold "because the priority is to settle the crisis".
     

    LebReporter

    Well-Known Member
    #16
    EU and US consider sanctions against Ukraine as death toll reaches 26

    The EU and the US are threatening targeted sanctions against Ukranian officials they hold responsible for the violence in Kiev that has killed at least 28 people and injured more than 200.

    In a foretaste of the broader package of sanctions under consideration, the US announced on Wednesday that it had imposed visa travel bans on around 20 senior members of the Ukrainian government.

    With EU on the cusp of joining the US on a much wider package of co-ordinated sanctions, the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland were scheduled to travel to Kiev on Thursday to meet Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich and opposition leaders.

    The trio will then return to Brussels for a special summit with EU foreign ministers to make a final decision about EU sanctions.

    The White House has a further package of punitive measures against Ukraine ready to be implemented, but senior officials believe the most effective sanctions are likely to be introduced in collaboration with the EU.

    The moves come as confrontations between anti-government protesters and police descended into the worst violence seen in Ukraine since the country was formed from the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.

    Late Wednesday, Yanukovich announced what he said was a “truce” with opposition leaders, enabling “the start to negotiations with the aim of ending bloodshed, and stabilising the situation in the state in the interests of social peace”.

    One of the opposition leaders, Arseny Yatseniuk, said in a separate statement: “A truce has been declared. The main thing is to protect human life,” he said. However US officials believe the situation is Kiev reamins extremely volatile and fear a further sudden deterioration in the city.

    The measures being considered are understood to include further visa restrictions on senior Ukranian officials close to Yanukovich who are thought to be responsible for the violence, as well as the possible freezing of assets.

    Barack Obama launched an attack on Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, who he said was failing to respect basic freedoms of the populace in his dealings with the leadership in Ukraine, as well as in Syria.

    Obama, speaking at a North American leaders’ summit in Mexico, said: “You have, in this situation, one country that has clearly been a client state of Russia, another whose government is currently being supported by Russia, where the people obviously have a very different view and vision for their country.”

    A senior State Department official said the “visa sanctions” announced on Wednesday were targeted against individuals deemed responsible for “ordering or otherwise directing human rights abuses related to political repression in Ukraine”.

    “These individuals represent the full chain of command that we consider responsible for ordering security forces to move against [protesters]” the official added.

    The official said the travel sanctions were limited compared to the “much broader and deeper” punitive measures that could be imposed through coordinated action with the EU.

    German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president François Hollande both signalled on Wednesday that they would back possible sanctions. After the annual Franco-German cabinet meeting in Paris, Hollande said: “Those who are responsible for these deeds have to know that they will certainly be sanctioned.”

    Merkel was more restrained, expressing shock at the scenes of violence but saying there was “no point in having sanctions that hit the civil population” and that “sanctions alone are not enough”.

    She later spoke on the telephone with Russian president Vladimir Putin, and the two agreed to do “everything necessary” to avoid an escalation of the violence.

    Barack Obama, in brief remarks to reporters in Mexico, where he is attending an economic summit, warned Ukraine “there will be consequences if people step over the line”.

    “The United States condemns in the strongest terms the violence that’s taking place,” the president said.
    Obama said he holds the Ukrainian government “primarily responsible” for enabling peaceful protests in Kiev and warned Yanulovych’s government against involving the military in the dispute.

    “I want to be very clear as we work through these next several days in Ukraine that we’re going to be watching closely and we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protestors,” he added.

    In Paris, US secretary of state John Kerry said Yanukovych faced a “choice for compromise and dialogue versus violence and mayhem”, and made it clear that sanctions were on the table. “We are talking about the possibility of sanctions or other steps with our friends in Europe and elsewhere in order to try to create the environment for compromise,” he said.

    Appearing alongside Kerry, French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said his visit to Kiev, with his German and Polish counterparts, was to “gather the latest information before the meeting in Brussels”. Fabius and the two other foreign ministers will be accompanied by EU foreign minister Lady Ashton.

    British prime minister David Cameron condemned the violence on “all sides”, but said Yanukovych had a “particular responsibility to pull back government forces and to de-escalate the situation”. He said: “President Yanukovich should be under no doubt that the world is watching his actions and that those responsible for violence will be held accountable.”

    Senior EU officials stressed that no final decision had been taken on sanctions. However the Polish deputy foreign minister, Poitr Serafin, hinted that sanctions were likely. Speaking after the Polish prime minister took part in a conference call with other EU leaders, Serafin said there was now a “unity of views”.

    “The events over the last 24 hours justify the decision of the European Union on sanctions,” he said.

    Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor at the White House, said the administration would liaise closely with EU figures to determine the appropriate next steps. Last month, the US imposed some limited travel restrictions against Ukranian officials deemed responsible for the violence. Although the State Department is barred from revealing the identities of the sanctioned individuals, they are understood to include the Ukrainian interior minister, Vitaliy Zakharcheko, and up to 19 others.

    However those sanctions were merely “a shot across the bows”, according to a source close to the administration. The package now under consideration is believed to be much broader, and would rely on EU co-operation.

    Critics accuse large EU member states like Germany and France of failing to work out a coherent and pro-active strategy in their approach to the crisis in the Ukraine. Over the last few weeks the German chancellory and foreign ministry have appeared increasingly at odds over their stance on the crisis.

    Damon Wilson, a former White House official who was closely involved in the introduction of US sanctions against Ukraine in 2004, said the punitive measures were likely to be directed at the coterie of allies and relatives close to Yanukovych who can be linked to the violence.

    “We’re not talking about punishing the policeman on the street, but following the command until you reach the real decision makers,” he said.

    Wilson, now at the Atlantic Council, said the US has been poised to ratchet up the pressure on Ukraine for weeks, but faced resistance from the EU. The violence in recent days appeared to have “shocked the EU system into action” and the White House was likely to want to capitalise on that shift, he added.

    Ukraine’s brutal crackdown has caused deep alarm in the White House, but senior officials are privately sceptical about how much influence the EU and US can bring to bear, particularly in light of Russian support for Yanukovych’s government.

    The situation in Kiev is raising parallels with western impotence in Syria, where Russian support for government suppression of opposition groups is proving equally hard for the US to respond to.

    For its part, Moscow condemned opposition groups in Kiev on Wednesday, urging its leaders to “stop the bloodshed”. A statement released by the Russian foreign ministry underscored its commitment to the Ukranian government. “The Russian side demands that leaders of the [opposition] stop the bloodshed in their country, immediately resume dialogue with the lawful authorities without threats or ultimatums,” it said.

    “Ukraine is a friendly brother state an a strategic partner, and we will use all our influence in order for peace and calm to reign,” the statement added.

    Guardian
     

    HannaTheCrusader

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    #17
    gas the bastards before they shake russia to the core
    if the russian and ukranian dont act decisively now, than they have lost

    send the terrorist to the gulag
     

    HannaTheCrusader

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    #19
    Yes, f*** democracy! Go dictatorship! YEAAAAH!

    ... and the Lebanese democrats have disappeared...
    what democracy are you talking about ????
    are these people in ukraine democrat ??

    did the usa allows the people in new york and los angeles to demonstrate and block roads \???

    YOU WANT DEMOCRACY, ONE SIDED
    why did free wall street protests were gassed and by force evacuated ??? and ukraine cant do the same ????
     

    dodzi

    Legendary Member
    #20
    what democracy are you talking about ????
    are these people in ukraine democrat ??

    did the usa allows the people in new york and los angeles to demonstrate and block roads \???

    YOU WANT DEMOCRACY, ONE SIDED
    why did free wall street protests were gassed and by force evacuated ??? and ukraine cant do the same ????
    Nobody died in New York.

    As for democracy being one-sided, ask those in power, not those who protest!

    I find it funny how forumers' stances on various international issues depend directly on other issues such as Syria... Had the US supported Assad, and Russia the rebels, I bet most people here would have different views on the Ukraine protests!

    I hope the outcome leads to a breakup of the country, with the Western part declaring its independence, and move towards democracy, while the Eastern part just join the new USSR again and praise dictator Komrad Putin!
     
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