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News digest: February 20

Interior Minister: Police Will Use Their Weapons

After announcement of new “anti-terrorist” laws by the government that accuses “radicals” of being behind the high number of deaths the Interior Minister of Ukraine, Zachartchenko, declared that the police officers are provided with the weapons, which they will use against the anti-government protestants.


Police And Military Forces Joined Protesters 

In one the Ukrainian cities, Lutsk, police and part of the internal military forces No.1141  came down to the side of protesters and, therefore, together with the “ Right Sector” will protect the city and the area.


Fyodorov: Russians Do Not See Ukrainian Events As “Feast Of Democracy”

Most Russians are following the events in Ukraine and support President Viktor Yanukovych in spite of his low rating, according to the Russian Public Opinion Study Center . Russian citizens have been regularly polled about Ukraine in the past three months, Russian Public Opinion Study Center head Valery Fyodorov told a press conference at the Interfax central office.

“EuroMaidan was not very interesting to Russians by itself when it started in November because Ukraine already had an image of a perturbed place. The interest of Russians in that conflict grew in December when the conflict started to escalate, catapults and burning tires appeared in the center of a large European city, buildings were seized and casualties were suffered,” Fyodorov said. Over a half of Russians are following the Ukrainian events at present, he said. “This is the great difference from Syria where, as we know, a civil war has been on for two years. This country also seems to be important for us but the interest in it is not as large,” Fyodorov said. Russians see the Ukrainian situation only through the prism of “disturbances, a revolt and conspiracies,” he said. “That is, in the opinion of Russians, this is not a feast of democracy; in the opinion of people, this is not a popular uprising against the rotten and corrupt regime,” Fyodorov said. The attitude to Yanukovych “is not particularly good” but he enjoys bigger support from Russians than the other side to this conflict, he noted. “Yanukovych had a very good rating in Russia once, especially in 2009-2010, when he was considered to be an alternative to Yushchenko-Tymoshenko. However, his image has faded much over the three years when Yanukovych was really in charge of Ukraine. He is no longer viewed as a pro-Russian politician. He is regarded as a politician with his own interests, not quite capable of reaching agreements and not quite liking Russia,” Fyodorov said. However, “compared with those who set fire to tires, seized police stations and used firearms, certainly, Yanukovych enjoys much greater support,” he indicated.


Fifteen Cars Burned In Kyiv At Night

Fifteen cases of the burning of cars were reported last night, the main department of State Service for Emergency Situations of Ukraine reported on Thursday. Cars were set on fire in Desniansky, Holosiyivsky, Darnytsky, Dniprovsky Shevchenkivsky, Podilsky, Solomiansky and Sviatoshynsky districts of Kyiv within a period of 20-40 minutes. Experts said that the cars had been deliberately set on fire.


Putin Decides To Send Mediator To Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to send a mediator to Ukraine to facilitate negotiations between the government and the opposition aimed at resolving the political situation in the country. Putin held a telephone conversation with President Viktor Yanukovych on Thursday. “A telephone conversation took place between Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovych at the initiative of the Ukrainian side, during which the President of Ukraine asked the Russian head of state to send a Russian representative, Vladimir Likin, to Kyiv to participate in the negotiations with the opposition as a mediator,” the statement said.


EU Decides On Sanctions For Those Responsible For Violence In Ukraine

The European Union decided to impose visa and financial sanctions against persons that are responsible for the  violence in Ukraine


Five Members Leave The Ruling Party

Five more members of the ruling party The Party Of Regions have resigned. Among those are: vice speaker Ruslan Koshulinckiy, Moshaka, Kovacha; Gaydosha, Lanyo; Buzhaka


The Road To Boryspil Is Blocked

Nearly 5000 protesters blocked the road to the airport Boryspil. Therefore,  activists intend to prevent escape of Members of the Ukrainian Parliament from the country.


Rada Obliges Security Service Abolish Planned Antiterrorist Operation, Bans Use Of Fire Arms By Interior Ministry (11:30 p.m., Thursday, February 20, 2014) The Verkhovna Rada has obliged the Security Service of Ukraine to abolish planned antiterrorist operation and banned the use of fire arms by the Ministry of Interior Affairs. Respective draft resolution (on condemnation of violence that led to deaths of peaceful Ukrainian citizens) was backed by 236 Verkhovna Rada deputies within minimum required 226 parliamentarians. The Verkhovna Rada has declared the Security Service’s antiterrorist operation contradicting Articles 17 and 85 of the Constitution of Ukraine. The Parliament has obliged the Cabinet of Ministers, Ministry of Interior Affairs, Security Service, Defense Ministry and other militarized formations to immediately stop use of any weapons and special means against citizens. Besides, the Verkhovna Rada obliged the Ministry of Interior Affairs to stop blocking transport communication all over Ukraine and ensure transfer of staff of interior troops and all units subordinated to the Authority to the places of their permanent dislocation. Under the document, pretrial investigation bodies will have to close criminal cases against all detained activists. Besides, the Prosecutor General’s Office should investigate all the cases of violence by law enforcement officers against the protesters, and should twice a month inform the Verkhovna Rada about the course of that investigation. In turn, the Parliament took responsibility for peaceful resolving of the sociopolitical crunch in the country. After the voting, the deputies applauded each other and sang the national anthem. As Ukrainian News earlier reported, a total of 239 deputies registered at the evening meeting of the Verkhovna Rada on February 20.


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