Daily digest of main Ukrainian news (Euromaidan focus) February 11

2014/02/11 • Daily Updates, News

Kyiv, 10 – 11 February 2014

 Council of “Maidan” unanimously supported restoration of 2004 Constitution.  The Council of “Maidan”, a body including political and civil society leaders of the protest, unanimously supported the restoration of 2004 Constitution as an urgent step aims at renewing the balance of power. Arseniy Yatseniuk, head of Batkivshyna faction, also stated that renewal of 2004 Constitution is supported by all opposition factions.

Council of “Maidan” is ready to implement the PoR drafted amnesty law after immediate release of all hostages. The Council of “Maidan”, a body including political and civil society leaders of the protest, declared its readiness to implement the PoR drafted amnesty law after immediate release of all hostages. According to the amnesty law, however, authorities would liberate detained activists after protestors left seized administrative buildings and roads including Hrushevskoho street.

Maidan Self Defense established organization and announced its main goals. Andriy Parubiy, an opposition MP and head of Maidan Self Defense signed a document laying down the organizations main principles and goals. According to the document, the Maidan Self Defense is a non-partisan social movement aims at securing Ukraine’s sovereignty and unity, ensuring the country’s European integration, protecting citizens’ rights and removing the current criminal authorities. The Maidan Self Defense, moreover, declared counteraction to Kremlin’s neo-imperial ambitions and fight with corruption among its objectives. The document also gave one month to similar self defense units established in the regions to delegate their representatives to the movement’s central staff.  

Source: authorities plan to introduce special regime in the government’s quarter. DT.ua quotes an anonymous source from the ministry of interior saying that authorities plan to introduce special regime foreseen additional measures to protect the citizens’ safety in the government’s quarter. The document is designed for internal use and does not explain what stands for such additional security measures, the source noted, adding that the document may justify restrictions of freedom of movement currently applied in the territory blocked by the police. These special measures may also justify protestors’ arrests taking place in the city center, the source added. According to the source, special regime would be introduced starting from the next week.

Yanukovych is ready for TV debate with Klitchko. President Yanukovych is ready for a TV debate with Vitaliy Klitchko, an opposition leader, the President’s press service said.

PoR Levchenko accused some oligarchs of manipulating information and acting against authorities. Speaking at the Donetsk regional council seating, Mykola Levchenko, an MP representing the Party of the Regions (PoR), accused Kolomoyiskyi, Pinchuk, Poroshenko and Firtash, Ukrainian business tycoons controlling a number of national media, of manipulating information. They act against authorities as their TV channels reported falsified information, the MP believes.

CoE Ombudsman: UN plans to send special envoy for mediation. Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, said that the UN plans to send its special envoy for mediation in Ukrainian crisis. It seems the UN intends to take more active position in Ukrainian crisis, Muižnieks added.

CoE Ombudsman: Zakharchenko is ready to recognize the excess of power by Berkut. Following his meeting with acting Ukraine’s interior minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks said that minister is ready to recognize the excess of power by Ukrainian riot police, Berkut, during the crackdown on peaceful protesters on Maidan square on 30 November 2013. Muižnieks also asked Zakharchenko to be serious about the activities of the so-called Titushki and not to delegate law enforcement agencies’ powers to other people.

CoE Ombudsman points at the misuse of the term “amnesty” in regard to protesters. According to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks, it is not correct to use the term “amnesty” in regard to the participants of mass protests in Ukraine. As he explained, this term should be used in regard to those whose guilt has been proved. In this context, he suggested addressing the drawbacks of legislation on the freedom of peaceful assembly.

Council conclusions: EU is ready for quick respond to any deterioration in Ukraine.  In its conclusions adopted on 10 February, the EU Foreign Affairs Council underlined its readiness for quick respond to any deterioration of the Ukrainian crisis. The EU foreign ministers call on all actors to refrain from violence and dissociate themselves from radical actions. “The continuous cases of deliberate targeting of organisers and participants of peaceful protests as well as of journalists must immediately be stopped,” the conclusions wrote, adding that “the current atmosphere of impunity which allows for such acts to take place must be addressed.” The Council also welcomes revocation of the 16 January restrictive legislations, noting that further efforts are necessary to find a durable solution to the current political crisis. The EU, moreover, invites Ukraine to reach out for international mechanisms for crisis resolution, encouraging Ukraine’s government to appoint its members of the Council of Europe Investigation Advisory Panel without delay.

Council sees crisis resolution through new government, constitutional reform and fair presidential elections. Ukrainska Pravda quotes the Council conclusion on Ukraine, saying that Brussels sees Ukrainian crisis resolution through forming a new government, amending Constitution and preparing to free and fair presidential elections. “A new and inclusive government, constitutional reform bringing back more balance of powers, and preparations for free and fair presidential elections would contribute to bringing Ukraine back on sustainable path of reforms,” the conclusion wrote. The EU foreign minister, moreover, expressed their readiness to speak on economic assistance already with a new governament. “On the basis of a new Ukrainian Government pursuing economic and political reforms, the EU is ready to further pursue its efforts with the international community and international financial institutions to assist Ukraine,” the Council conclusions added.

US Congress threatened Ukraine’s authorities by targeting sanctions. The US Congress, lower chamber of the US Parliament, passed a resolution expressing support to Ukrainian people struggling for their democratic and European aspirations as well as threatening Ukraine’s authorities by personalized sanctions for violence against peaceful protesters. The resolution calls on the US and the EU to jointly work on peaceful resolution of Ukrainian crisis and signature of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, media reported. Previously similar resolution was adopted by the US Senate, upper chamber of the US Parliament.

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