Ukraine president warns Kiev protesters as fighting rages

January 20, 2014 | By | Reply More

Jan 20, – Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich named a top aide to organize peace talks with the opposition after violent clashes between police and protesters in Kiev, but the opposition warned him on Monday not to play for time.

hromedia Ukraine president warns Kiev protesters amid clashes eu news2Yanukovich, facing unrest which seriously threatens his re-election chances in 2015, agreed to open a dialogue with the opposition after scores were injured in Sunday’s clashes, the worst in two months of protests over his policy U-turn away from Europe towards Russia.

With tension still high, about 1,000 protesters confronted police on Monday near Kiev’s main government headquarters and hurled projectiles. Ukraine’s general prosecutor called on opposition leaders to order them to desist.

Streets nearby were littered with bricks and debris, including burned-out buses and trucks from Sunday’s mayhem in which protesters bombarded police with fireworks, flares and later petrol bombs. Police replied with rubber bullets, stun grenades and water cannon.

Yanukovich’s apparent concession came after the violence and a rally attended by more than 100,000 people in Kiev.

The rally – held in defiance of a court ban – was called to denounce his rejection of a European future for Ukraine and the introduction of sweeping new laws which the opposition says will usher in a police state.

Despite opposition calls for only peaceful action, the rally descended into violence when masked youths detached themselves from the main protest site on Independence Square and tried to march on parliament before being stopped by police.

In the ensuing clashes, more than 60 police were injured, with 40 being taken to hospital, police said. Kiev’s medical services said about 100 civilians had sought medical attention.

Seeking to keep the advantage established on the streets, the opposition on Monday warned Yanukovich that he should not try to buy time in the hope protesters would lose heart.

“It’s important that these talks have a real result,” said boxer-turned-politician Vitaly Klitschko, who met Yanukovich late on Sunday at his country residence as pitch battles went on between protesters and police in the capital.

“If the authorities again break their word, the situation will inevitably escalate,” he said, adding that the president must be part of any dialogue.

Klitschko, seen as a potentially strong contender for the presidency, later urged people outside Kiev to come to the capital to swell the ranks of protesters.

Press coordinator for HRO media – Norberto Lluch contributed to this report.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: European Crises

Leave a Reply