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General Prosecutor: amnesty law entered into force. Viktor Pshonka, Ukraine’s General Prosecutor announced that the amnesty law entered into force after activists had met the respective conditions including evacuation of the seized administrative buildings, Ukrainska Pravda reported. Pshonka also noted that 108 criminal cases would be closed during one month with 268 persons to be discharged from liability. Commenting on the enactment of the amnesty law, Arseniy Yatseniuk, head of Batkivshchyna faction, said that the opposition would set up a group monitoring the implementation of the law.
Ashton welcomed evacuation by protestors of Kyiv City administration. Catherine Ashton, EU HV/VP, issued a statement welcoming evacuation by protestors of Kyiv City administration as well as release of all detained EuroMaidan activists. “I welcome that several important steps have been undertaken during the last few days to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine, thus contributing to a Ukrainian way out from the current political crisis,” the statement wrote. The EU’s chief diplomat also called upon the authorities to close all pending court cases against the activists, including all house arrests. “I expect such action to be taken without delay so as to facilitate the political dialogue in Parliament this week,” Ashton added.
EP President: EU may sign AA immediately after crisis resolution. In his interview to UNIAN, Martin Schulz, President of European Parliament said that the EU is ready to sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine immediately after the crisis resolution if Kyiv meets necessary conditions agreed before Vilnius summit and does not issue additional conditions from its side.
Head of Maidan Self Defense: Parliament would either pass Maidan requests or it would be blocked. On the eve of new parliamentary week, Andriy Parubiy, head of Maidan Self Deferse stressed that the MPs would either pass Maidan requests or the Parliament would be blocked by the demonstrators. He also noted that the authorities plan to appoint a Prime Minister agreed with Kremlin to receive the rest of Russia’s loan worth USD 15 billion. This would be the price of Ukrainian independence, Parubiy said, adding that Maidan should prevent the implementation of this scenario.
Opposition leaders: West is ready to allocate financial resources to a new democratic government. Following their meeting with Angela Merkel, Vitaliy Klitchko and Arseniy Yatseniuk said that the West is ready to provide financial resources to a new democratic Ukrainian government. This government should not represent the corrupted governance of Yanukovych’s administration, the opposition leaders added.
Rybak: Parliament may consider amendments to Constitution on 20 February. Volodymyr Rybak, Head of Parliament, did not rule out that the lawmakers may consider Constitutional amendments inter alia restoration of 2004 Constitution on 20 February. Rybak also informed that there is no bill on constitutional reform registered in the Parliament at the moment.
Rybak: President may propose PM candidate this week. Ukrinform quotes Volodymyr Rybak, Head of Parliament, assuming that President Victor Yanukovych may propose a PM candidate this week. Yanukovych considers different candidates from the Party of Regions (PoR) and opposition, Rybak added.
PoR MP: Constitutional Court’s ruling from 2010 extending presidential power cannot be canceled. Yuriy Miroshnychenko, an MP representing the Party of the Regions (PoR) and presidential envoy to the Parliament, said the ruling of Constitutional Court from 2010 renewing 1996 Constitution cannot be cancelled, Ukrainska Pravda reported. He also called not to breach law while conducting political dialogue between authorities and opposition.
Yatseniuk accused Yanukovych of committing coup d’état. Speaking at the traditional Sunday’s mass demonstration, Arseniy Yatseniuk, head of Batkivshchyna faction, accused President Yanukovych of committing coup d’état by changing the Constitution via bribed Constitutional Court. The Court’s ruling is an attempt to usurp power committed by the judges under the illegal order of the President, the opposition leader stressed, adding that the case should be criminally persecuted. Yatseniuk also emphasized that the Parliament take vote on restoration of 2004 Constitution on 18 February.
Yatseniuk refused to become the head of government. According to Arseniy Yatseniuk, one of opposition leaders, he rejected President Yanukovych’s proposal to head Ukraine’s government. On the contrary, opposition will form its own cabinet, he stressed. “And this is the joint decision of all opposition leaders, including ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko,” Yatseniuk concluded.
Opposition proposed to declare 2004 Constitution as valid. Serhiy Sobolev, an opposition MP representing Batkivshchyna faction, said that opposition refused from the idea of adopting a constitutional act restoring 2004 Constitution. Instead of the act opposition proposed to adopt a resolution declaring that 2004 Constitution was and remains valid in Ukraine. Sobolev also stressed that the Constitutional Court’s ruling from 2010 did not say that Ukraine returned to 1996 Constitution.
Poland provides medical treatment for 10 injured activists. Marcin Wojciechowski, a spokesperson of Polish MFA informed that his country provides medical treatment for 10 EuroMaidan activists. Media also quotes Olha Bohomolets, Ukrainian well-known doctor, saying that only those injured activists receive treatment abroad who cannot properly recover in Ukraine.
Tymoshenko: opposition may lead the government under 3 conditions. In her interview to Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, Yulia Tymoshenko named three conditions under which opposition would be ready to lead the new government. According to her, this would be possible after full rehabilitation of the charged EuroMaidan activists, if opposition controls all or most of the ministers and if the new Prime Minister receives mandate to sign the association agreement with the EU. The convicted opposition leader, however, is skeptical on the ability of an opposition Prime Minister to work under President Yanukovych.
All detained activists were “released”; their criminal cases remain open. Today the last of 234 detained EuroMaidan activists were released, media reported with reference to the Headquarter of National Resistance. Respective criminal cases, however, remained open. The courts soften pre-trial restrictions downgrading them to full or partial house arrest while charged the activists with more serious crimes (organization and participation in mass disorder) which foresee up to 15 years in prison.
Council of “Maidan” declared its readiness to partly free Hrushevskyi street. Following the release of last detained protestors, Council of “Maidan”, an organization united political and civil society activists of the protest, declared its readiness to partly implement the amnesty law, namely to partly free Hrushevskyi street. The move aims at preventing from crisis escalation, the council stated, warning authorities with more massive actions if they renew repressions and intimidations.
General Prosecutor promised to close all criminal cases against activists if protestors implement amnesty law by 17 February. Viktor Pshonka, General Prosecutor, promised to close all criminal cases against EuroMaidan activists in one month if protestors implement the amnesty law by 17 February. The law drafted and voted by the government-loyal lawmakers demanded activists to leave all seized administrative buildings and to free streets by 17 February before the state pardoned the charged activists.
Opposition plans to register Constitutional act in the Parliament. RBK-Ukraina quotes Serhiy Sobolev, an opposition MP representing Batkivshchyna faction, saying that opposition plans to register Constitutional act in the Parliament. The document restores 2004 Constitution and obliges the lawmakers to bring the country’s legislation in line with the main law, Sobolev noted, adding that the Party of Regions and communists refuse from supporting the document. The government-loyal MPs continue to insist on setting up a working group on constitutional amendments, Sobolev said, adding that opposition is ready to participate in the WG after Parliament renews legitimate Constitution which was unlawfully revised by Constitutional Court in 2010.
Party of Region registered bill duplicating some provisions from previously recalled dictatorship laws. Volodymyr Pylypenko and Valeriy Pysarenko, MPs representing the Party of the Regions (PoR), tabled a bill on additional measures enhancing the judges’ security and independence which, according to lawyers, duplicated some provisions of previously recalled dictatorship laws. The document, among others, proposed to criminalize gathering of negative information about the judges and their relatives. Thus, the bill would enhance judges’ independence from society but not from the authorities, Valentyna Telychenko, former lawyer of Yulia Tymoshenko, said.
PoR MP Tihipko: coalition government is a deadlock. Serhiy Tihipko, an MP representing the Party of the Regions (PoR) urged to form a new government next week as Ukrainian economy falling into deep crisis. This government should not be a coalition one, as such a government would lead to a deadlock, the politician thinks, adding that the Cabinet of ministers should comprise effective specialists.
Ukrainian journalist: Russia proposed Europe to solve Ukrainian crisis behind Kyiv’s back. Vitaliy Portnikov, a critical Ukrainian journalist, commented yesterday’s article of Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, on EU-Russia relations, saying that Moscow proposed Brussels to solve Ukrainian crisis behind Kyiv’s back. Russian minister criticized EuroMaidan for extremist rhetoric, stressing that Ukrainians could not decide easily its foreign policy dilemma themselves. Lavrov continued by describing the potential of EU-Russia relations, stressing that they approach the ‘moment of truth’. Hence, Moscow de facto proposed Europe to deepen its relations at the cost of Ukrainian independence as its existence, according to Moscow, hinders the establishment of “common economic and humanitarian space stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific,” Portnikov underlined. The journalist concluded by quoting a famous Polish expression dating back to end of the Cold War – “nothing about us without us,” warning that Russia would extend its pressure over Baltic countries and Poland after swallowing Ukraine.
Merkel will meet Klitchko and Yatseniuk on 17 February. German government confirmed information about the meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and leaders of Ukrainian opposition. On 17 February Vitaliy Klitchko and Arseniy Yatseniuk will meet Angela Merkel in Berlin to discuss current stage of the crisis and possible way out of the conflict.
Bildt: Russia forces Ukraine to enter customs union. Carl Bildt, Sweden’s foreign minister, assumed that Russia forces Ukraine to enter Kremlin-designed customs union. He made the statements in respond to Sergey Glaziev, a foreign policy advisor to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who stated that the customs union is vital for Ukraine. According to Glaziev, Ukraine has no future outside the Russia-led integration projects.
Lavrov accused EU and US of interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs. During his joint press conference with Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, accused the EU and the US of interfering in Ukraine’s domestic affairs. Moscow, unlike the West allow Ukraine to make its foreign policy decision by its own without sending numerous delegations aimed at pressing Kyiv to choose western integration projects, Lavrov emphasized.
Sikorsky reminded Lavrov about boycott of Ukrainian products. Following Lavrov’s statement accusing the West of interfering in Ukraine’s domestic affairs, Radosław Sikorski, Poland’s foreign minister, reminded his Russian counterpart about Moscow’s boycott of Ukrainian products. Artificial trade restricting measures constitute much bigger interference in Ukraine’s domestic affairs than European efforts to maintain negotiations, the minister stressed, adding that Ukrainian economy needs foremost modernization.
Russia tightened control over Ukrainian beef. Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance tightened control over beef imported from Ukraine. According to the service Ukrainian beef contains excessive number of harmful microorganisms.
Yatseniuk warned by crisis escalation if a peaceful solution is not found in Parliament. Arseniy Yatseniuk, head of Batkivshchyna faction, warned on possible crisis escalation if a peaceful solution is not found in the Parliament. Speaking on his yesterday’s meeting with Yulia Tymoshenko, Yatseniuk noted that opposition would demand Parliament to restore 2004 Constitution. The opposition leader, moreover, emphasized that immediate constitutional reform together with forming of a new transitional government would pay the way to peaceful settlement of the crisis. The parliament’s failure to act would lead to the crisis escalation, Yatseniuk added.
Yanukovych proposed to set 9 March as the Day of national reconciliation. President Yanukovych proposed to set 9 March, Taras Shevchenko anniversary, as the Day of national reconciliation. He noted that Ukraine demanded peace, adding that the discord between regions should be overcome.
General Prosecutor’s Office called on protestors to remove barricades before 17 February. General Prosecutor’s Office recalled protestors that the amnesty law expired on 17 February. According to the law, the detained activists would be pardoned only after protestors remove all barricades and release seized administrative buildings. The General Prosecutor’s office also underlined that there are 71 persons charged with organizing massive disorder with 4 people staying in custody and 59 people are kept under house arrest. Media also recalled that the amnesty law drafted and voted by government-loyal MPs only with opposition labeling it as the law on hostages.
Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal case against EuroMaidan Self Defense. Prosecutor’s Office in Kyiv opened criminal case against EuroMaidan Self Defense, head of Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office said, stressing that paramilitary organizations are banned by Ukrainian law.
Source: Russian big business withdraws money from Ukraine expecting default. Media quotes an unnamed source close to management of a Russian bank operating in Ukraine, saying that the bank was ordered to withdraw money from Ukraine in 10 days as the country faces default. The media also recalled that on 7 February international rating agency Fitch Ratings downgraded Ukraine’s long-term rating to the level of “CCC” which is one step far from default.
Car producer accused authorities of imposing pressure over business not controlled by them. “Bohdan”, a car producer, calls on authorities to stop endless inspections harming the business. The company accused authorities of imposing pressure on the business not controlled by or affiliated with authorities and their inner circle. The respective open address of the company was sent to President Yanukovych, General Prosecutor Pshonka, and acting Prime Minister Arbuzov, media added.
Communists believe Ukraine’s federalization would not lead to country’s disintegration. Commenting on the communists’ proposal to turn Ukraine into a federal state, Petro Symonenko, head of communist party, expressed his belief that the federalization would not lead to de facto split of the country. The politician also called for holding referendum on the country’s possible federalization.
“Svoboda” is ready to leave the building of Kyiv City Administration after all detained protestors are released. Andriy Illienko, an MP representing “Svoboda” party, said that his political force is ready to leave the building of Kyiv City Administration after authorities release all detained protestors. He also recalled that similar decision has been taken by the Council of “Maidan”, an organization united political and civil society leaders of the protest.
Head of Kyiv police accused of cracking down Maidan on 30 November may return to his office. Following the court’s ruling to pardon officials charged with ordering violent crackdown of Maidan on 30 November, Valeriy Koriak, head of Kyiv police, may return to his office, ministry of interior’s press service noted. This depends on the official himself who is at leave at the moment, the press service added.
Odesa EuroMaidan activists “stormed” local administration by toy tanks and aircraft. Odesa EuroMaidan activists held a flesh mob deriding authorities’ statements on aggressive western Ukrainians coming to the city to seize the power. The activists “stormed” the city council by toy tanks and aircraft.
Head of Kharkiv Regional State Administration proposed to grant combatant status to “Berkut”. Mykhailo Dobkin, head of Kharkiv Regional State Administration, proposed to grant combatant status to members of “Berkut”, Ukrainian riot police. I am proud of “Berkut” that returned trust into Ukrainian police, Dobkin said while giving UAH 150 thousand to relatives of Kharkiv “Berkut” officers.
Ukrainian football ultras declared truce amid Ukrainian protests. Ultra organizations of football clubs across Ukraine declared truce between themselves amid ongoing Ukrainian protests. Ultras stressed that the current situation demanded them to unite their efforts aimed at protecting themselves against repressive police that intimidate and torture Ukrainian citizens.
Füle pointed 4 areas to be tackled by Ukraine to solve the crisis. During his press conference in Kyiv, Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and ENP, advised Ukraine to tackle 4 areas in order to resolve the crisis. Authorities’ main aim is to renew citizens’ trust, the Commissioner said, adding that this cannot be achieved given continues arrests and intimidation of the protestors. Ukraine needs to advance in 4 issues, Füle said, encouraging Kyiv foremost to take immediate steps towards constitutional reform, forming a new inclusive government, and establishing conditions for free a fair elections. Secondly, Ukrainian government needs also to appoint without delays its representative to the CoE-initiated advisory commission aimed at investigating human rights violations during the protest. Ukraine should also eliminate the atmosphere of impunity by ensuring respect to citizens’ rights and freedoms and by investigating the acts of violence in a transparent way, the Commissioner continued, adding that journalists’ safety should be also among Ukrainian priorities.
Füle: EU financial support is conditioned to reforms. UNIAN quotes Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and ENP, saying that the EU is ready to provide Kyiv its financial support given the conduct of necessary reforms. Commenting on information, that the EU expects Ukraine to hold early presidential elections before allocating its financial support, the Commissioner noted that the current crisis talks relate to conditions of free and fair elections. Be them parliamentary of presidential, early or according to the schedule should be decided by Ukrainians. The EU-Ukraine association agreement may provide additional platform for the reforms’ implementation, Füle said, adding that the EU is ready to support a new Ukrainian inclusive government only if it is committed to reforms. The Commissioner also stressed that the EU seeks to be the largest donor of Ukraine. “We want to make this assistance possible in the form of grants and loans for the development and strengthening of Ukraine’s sovereignty,” Füle added.
Lavrov noticed anti-Semitic and racist slogans on EuroMaidan. Writing on EuroMaidan protest, Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, noticed racist and anti-Semitic slogans. “It is impossible not to notice that anti-government forces in Ukraine increasingly use nationalist, extremist, anti-Russian, anti-Semitic and racist rhetoric,” the minister wrote accusing the West of turning the blind eyes to this. The minister, moreover, accused the West of interfering in Ukrainian protest emphasizing that Russian representatives did not distributed sandwiches on Maidan. Lavrov also criticized the approach of substituting legitimate authorities by so-called ‘street democracy’. “Riots and street violence in a capital of any European country would not have been tolerated,” the Russian minister underlined, adding that similar actions would have been considered as a threat to public and democratic order.
Former US ambassador to Ukraine advocates for US and EU personalized sanctions. In his interview to DW, a German international media outlet, Steven Pifer, former US ambassador to Ukraine advocated for US and EU personalized sanctions against Ukrainian officials as a tool pushing President Yanukovych to concessions. Speaking on possible targets of the sanctions, Pifer mentioned that fiscal threats to Rynat Achmetov, a business tycoon close to Yanukovych’s inner circle, could be an effective leverage.
Criminal cases against officials charged with Maidan crackdown on 30 November are closed. General Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that Kyiv’s district courts closed criminal cases against Oleksandr Popov, former head of Kyiv city administration, and Volodymyr Sivkovych, deputy chairman of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, who were previously charged with ordering Maidan crackdown on 30 November. These decisions were taken in line with the amnesty law passed by the Parliament, the General Prosecutor’s Office added.
“Pravyi Sector” warned on possible terroristic acts prepared by Russian security service and Ukrainian police. Dmytro Yarosh, head of “Pravyi Sector”, a far right wing of the protest movement, warned on possible terroristic acts prepared by Russian security service and Ukrainian police. These attacks would aim at discrediting “Pravyi Sector” and other EuroMaidan paramilitary units, as well as spreading panic, increasing separatist tendencies and widening the basis for repressions, Yarosh emphasized.
PoR MP assumed President to propose a PM candidate next week. Yuriy Miroshnychenko, President’s representative at the Verkhovna Rada and the Party of the Region (PoR) MP, assumed that President Yanukovych would propose a candidate of the new Prime Minister next week.
Acting minister of justice: special security regime in Kyiv doesn’t change citizens’ legal status. Commenting on information about special security regime introduced in Kyiv by the government, Olena Lukash, acting minister of justice, stressed that the regime does not change legal status of the citizens. It was taken to ensure security of administrative buildings only, the acting minister noted.
UDAR called Ukrainians for one-hour warning strike on 13 February. UDAR caller Ukrainians to join one-hour warning strike to be started at 12:00 p.m. on 13 February. During the strike time people should remain at their workplace but do not perform their duties, Yuriy Krykunov, head of Kyiv strike committee, said, adding that this would not lead to peoples’ dismissal as they would not breach any law.
Tymoshenko calls Yanukovych for public debate. Yulia Tymoshenko calls President Yanukovych for public debate on the current situation in Ukraine. She noted that the debate could be organized through video conference without any conditions from her side. Previously President Yanukovych called Vitaliy Klitchko for TV debate which the opposition leader accepted provided Yanukovych’s resignation.
Barroso: introduction of EU sanctions would be a mistake at the moment. In his interview to Reuters, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, said that introduction of EU sanctions at the current stage would be a mistake. The priority is to stabilize the situation, to avoid violence and to launch serious dialogue between government and opposition, Barroso underlined, adding that any other moves may be counterproductive. According to the Commission’s President, Europe should assist in establishing necessary conditions for legitimate transitional political process or in implementing a legitimate decision paying the way out of the crisis. He also had personally warned President Yanukovych on negative outcomes of further crisis deterioration, Barroso stressed.
Opposition leaders and Štefan Füle discussed crisis resolution. Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and ENP, met opposition leaders to discuss their visions of the ways out of the crisis before he meets President Yanukovych. Following the meeting, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, head of Batkivshchyna faction, said that Europe is ready to support Ukraine given Yanukovych’s readiness to make necessary decisions. The Council adopted its conclusions on Ukraine, Yatsenyuk recalled, adding that the document proposed political and economic measures to resolve the crisis. The political package includes constitutional reform, new government and a new action plan which would be backed by financial aid from the EU and international organizations, Yatsenyuk underlined, adding that the crisis resolution depends on Yanukovych’s understanding of the threats Ukraine is faced by.
Ashton: EU uses both pressure and support in dealing with Ukrainian crisis.Speaking at the EP foreign affairs committee, Catherine Ashton, EU HR/VP, noted that Brussels uses both pressure and support in dealing with Ukrainian crisis. We have different options available and may use any of them, the EU’s chief diplomat stressed, adding that Brussels wants to use positive steps as much as possible. She also underlined EU’s concern on the crisis, expressing her hope that the Ukrainian authorities are aware of EU’s ability to apply negative measures as well.
US suspects Russia of being involved in leaking US diplomats’ private talk.Speaking at the US Senate, James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence at the US government, said that Washington suspects Russia of being involved in wiretapping and leaking of private talks between Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State, and Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador to Ukraine. Clapper, moreover, did not rule out that Russia spies US diplomats.
Kozhara: authorities do not consider violent scenarios of crisis settlement.Interfax-Ukraina quotes Leonid Kozhara, Ukraine’s acting foreign minister, saying that authorities do not consider violent scenarios of the crisis settlement and hope the opponents share the same approach. President Yanukovych and the government demonstrate their openness to the crisis resolution, despite extremist acts and slogans, the acting minister underlined. He, moreover, called on opposition to dissociate themselves from the extremist groups. Kozhara also expressed his hope that a way out of the crisis would be found in a dialogue between authorities and opposition.
Russian diplomat: Ukraine de facto moves to a federation. Andrey Vorobyov, a Russian diplomat, believes that Ukraine de facto moves to its federalization. Some regions have already established parallel authorities, the diplomat said, adding that this tendency would be further maintained despite the country’s formal status written in the Constitution.
Regional paramilitary group asked Putin for military intervention in Ukraine. A Luhansk-based group of Don Cossacks, a paramilitary oragisation, asked Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President, for military intervention in Ukraine given the crisis deterioration. The opposition provokes civil war by saying about their intentions to ask NATO for help, the paramilitary group stressed, calling on Putin to not allow “western Herod” to swallow orthodox Ukraine.
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.
Interior ministry opens criminal proceedings against influential NGO.Ukraine’s interior ministry has opened criminal proceedings against Centre UA, Ukrainian NGO involved into investigations of corrupt offences of current authorities, accusing it of money laundering. However, NGO’s chief Oleh Rybachuk links interior ministry-initiated case to Centre UA professional activities, saying that authorities “continue their systematic repressions against civil society.”
Lithuania’s President met Bulatov. Dalia Grybauskaitė, Lithuania’s President, met Dmytro Bulatov, a leader of Automaidan, who receives medical treatment in Vilnius after being kidnapped and tortured. The President and the activist discussed Ukrainian crisis and the EU’s role in its settlement, Grybauskaitė’s press service reported. Bulatov thanked the President for her country’s support to injured activists with Grybauskaitė noting that the EU is ready to help by any possible way to find a peaceful solution of the crisis. “Ukrainians are fighting for democratic future of their country,” the President stressed, adding that a peaceful way out of the crisis should be found as soon as possible.
6 countries are ready to provide medical treatment to injured activists. Oleh Musiy, a coordinator of EuroMaidan medical service, said that 6 countries (Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany and Canada) are ready to provide injured activists with medical treatment. The activist will not pay for the treatment and rehabilitation regardless of how much time it may last, Musiy added.
PoR demands Prosecutor’s Office to assess calls for setting up paramilitary units across Ukraine. Following the call of Andriy Parubiy, the EuroMaidan commandant, to set up self defense units across Ukraine, the Party of Regions (PoR) appealed to the Prosecutor’s Office demanding it to give legal assessment of such calls. The establishment of paramilitary units is illegal the PoR recalled, adding that this should be criminally prosecuted. Opposition goes too far, the PoR underlined, stressing that paramilitary units may set Ukraine into civic war following the Libyan example.
Titushki threaten Ruslana by physical violence. Ruslana, a popular artist and a leader of EuroMaidan, informed about threats she receives from the Titushki. Gangs are constantly tracing me, Ruslana said, adding that they threaten her by physical violence and tortures. The treats began after I called Europe for targeting sanctions, Ruslana said, emphasizing that she will continue her struggle on Maidan.
Head of Parliament: constitutional changes require referendum. According to the Head of Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Rybak, constitutional changes should be made in line with Ukrainian legislative framework. As he explained, some of issues related to the return to 2004 Constitution require discussion at the level of referendum.
PoR MP Tihipko calls for a new government. One of the Party of Regions’ MPs Serhiy Tihipko believes that the new government should be formed without any delays as Ukrainian economy is on the brink of catastrophe. “New effective and professional government is needed already today as it could be too late tomorrow,” he said, stressing also a strong need in “decisive anti-crisis measures.”
EU voices support to Ukraine, but warns against possible consequences of human rights violation. The European Union is ready to assist Ukraine in overcoming the crisis, including providing the country with financial support to implement necessary reforms, the EU HR/VP Catherine Ashton said. Sweden’s foreign minister Carl Bildt, in his turn, does not rule out consequences for Ukraine by the EU in response to continued repressions and violation of human rights.
CDU threatens Ukrainian authorities by sanctions. Presidium of CDU, German political party headed by Chancellor Merkel, adopted a statement threatening Ukrainian officials by personalized sanctions, Liga reported. “Should the Ukrainian leadership continue to deny elementary civil rights, we will take a stand for a decision, by the international community of states, to impose personalized sanctions against the suppressors,” the statement wrote. CDU Presidium also agreed with joint EU-US financial aid to Ukraine given the country’s readiness to conduct necessary reforms ensuring human rights and boosting economy.
Saakashvili: Russian neo-imperial ambitions would collapse on Maidan. During his meeting with Patriarch Filaret, head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate, Mikheil Saakashvili, former Georgia’s President, underlined the importance of EuroMaidan protest movement for the whole post-Soviet region, TVi reported. Ukrainian example is very important for Georgia, Saakashvili said, adding that EuroMaidan impacts the future development of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova and Russia. “Ukrainian revolution can accelerate the death of Russian imperial ambitions,” Saakashvili added.
British expert assessed scenarios of Ukrainian crisis settlement. James Sherr, a British political expert, wrote an article in Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, a moderate weekly newspaper, assessing possible scenarios of Ukrainian crisis settlement. The expert underlined that after conflict escalated on 19 January, the West including the EU and the US actively engaged itself in the Ukrainian crisis. This, however, does not exclude Russian readiness to opt for military intervention. Further settlement of the crisis depends on Russian ability to correctly assess its risks, on Western readiness to contain Russia and on Ukrainians’ ability to maintain their struggle, Sherr concluded.
German expert: EU should prevent ‘Georgian scenario’ in Ukraine. In his article published by Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, a moderate weekly, Andreas Umland, a German political expert who lives in Kyiv, advises the EU to prevent possible implementation of ‘Georgian scenario’ in Ukraine leading to de facto annexation of certain regions of the country. The expert underlined that Ukrainian crisis should not be compared with the Syrian one, adding that the country’s political regime also significantly differs from those existing in Belarus and Russia. The ongoing conflict, however, may still be used by Moscow to de facto annex Ukraine’s regions foremost Crimea and eastern regions. The EU’s weak reaction to the Georgian war in 2008 encouraged Moscow to cut Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Umland wrote, urging Europe for early use of its economic leverage against Russia aimed at discouraging Kremlin from repeating ‘Georgian scenario’ in Ukraine.
Two activists injured by explosion were sent for medical treatment in Lviv. Nazar Derzhyla and Roman Dzvinskyi, two injured activists from the yesterday’s explosion in the EuroMaidan main office were sent for medical treatment in Lviv. The hospital is guarded to protect activists from possible arrest, media reported, adding that Roman’s father wants his son to be hospitalized abroad for security reasons.
Tusk: Europe doesn’t consider opposition to be radical. Following his meetings with European leaders, Donald Tusk, Poland’s Prime Minister, noted that Europe does not consider Ukrainian opposition to be radical. Political demands to amend Constitution or to renew 2004 Constitution, discussions on possible early presidential elections and on a new composition of the Central Election Commission, requests to ensure fair elections as well as to release detained protestors, – all of these cannot be considered as radical demands. He also noted that Ukrainian crisis may help Georgia and Moldova to sign their association agreements with the EU sooner than expected.
Poland admitted 4 EuroMaidan activists for medical treatment. Poland’s foreign ministry informed that the country admitted 4 EuroMaidan activists to provide them with necessary medical treatment. Poland also ready to accept other injured activists, the ministry added.
Injured activist: bomb was addressed to “Pravyi Sector”. Roman Dzvinskyi, an activist who was seriously injured by yesterday’s explosion in EuroMaidan main office said that the box with a bomb was addressed to “Pravyi Sector”. The box brought a man and gave it for me, the activist said, noting that he had a badge of “Pravyi Sector”. The man also told that the box is a present to “Pravyi Sector”, the activist added.
Parubiy asked not to bring unknown things to EuroMaidan. Following an explosion of a box in EuroMaidan main office, Andriy Parubiy, commandant of EuroMaidan, asked not to bring unknown things to the buildings with activists. He also accused authorities of organizing yesterday’s explosion in the House of Trade Unions, media added.
Parubiy announced establishment of self-defense units in the regions. Andriy Parubiy, commandant of EuroMaidan, said that EuroMaidan self-defense has already more than 12 thousand people, adding that the similar units would be set up in regions aimed at mobilizing up to 30 thousand people to protect Maidan.
Acting minister of interior warned on possible terrorist act organized by right extremists. Vitaliy Zacharchenko, acting minister of interior, warns on possible terrorist act organized by right extremists. They plan to destabilize the current peace achieved thanks to authorities-opposition talks and to overshadow the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi by a terrorist act.
Acting minister of interior: extremists were preparing for clashes for more than 2 years. Vitaliy Zacharchenko, acting minister of interior, said that extremists were preparing for clashes with police for more than 2 years. They came to Kyiv with bats, batons, chains and bulletproof vest, the acting minister said, adding that democracy has nothing in common with pogroms and massive disorder. Police would easily solve the problem with extremists, Zacharchenko stressed, adding that they were joined by ordinary people who came to Maidan to demonstrate for better life. The government should hear demands of the later and hold dialogue with them, Zacharchenko added.
Acting minister of interior: self-defense units are criminal groups. Vitaliy Zacharcheko, acting minister of interior, stressed that the orginised EuroMaidan self-defense units are illegal and criminal. These people continue to buy weapons, the acting minister noted, adding that they also kidnapped and beaten people as well as steal and damage properties.
Acting minister of interior: ‘Berkut’ was provoked by ‘Pravyi Sector’ on 30 November. Nobody ordered ‘Berkut’, Ukraine’s riot police, to beat activists on 30 November, Vitaliy Zacharchenko, acting minister of interior said, adding that the police was provoked for violent actions by “Pravyi Sector”. He also emphasized that students had finished their protest and left Maidan on 30 November before the police came.
Diplomat: EU would discuss sanctions against Ukrainian officials on 10 February.EU Foreign Affairs Council would discuss Ukrainian crisis and possible steps to de-escalate the conflict, an unnamed senior EU diplomat said. Among others, the foreign ministers of the member-states would consider targeting sanctions against Ukrainian officials. Constitutional reform as well as financial aid to Ukraine would be also on the agenda.
Nuland: International community would work with government of national trust. Victoria Nuland, US Deputy Secretary of State, said that Ukraine needs firstly to de-escalate the crisis and then to form a government of national trust or a technical government. This government would be able to work with international community for renewal of Ukraine’s security and the country’s economic prosperity.
Survey: Yanukovych would lose presidential race to any opposition candidate.According to a survey, jointly conducted by Socis center and Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), Victor Yanukovych, sitting Ukraine’s President, would lose presidential race to any opposition candidate. In the second round Vitaliy Klitschko, an opposition leader, would defeat Yanukovych with 63,9% voted for former and 36,1% – for latter; Petro Poroshenko, a non-attached MP, would score 62,3% of votes with 37,7% voted for Yanukovych; Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of far-right Svoboda political party would gain 54,4% while Yanukovych – 45,6%; Arseniy Yatseniuk, a head of Batkivshchyna faction, would receive 58,4% with Yanukovych would be supported by 41,6%; Yulia Tymoshenko, the convicted opposition leader, would get 57,4% and Yanukovych – 42,6%. In the first round of presidential elections the results would be the following: Victor Yanukovych (29,5%), Vitaliy Klitchko (28,7%), Petro Poroshenko (18,6%), Arseniy Yatseniuk (9,2%), Petro Symonenko, head of Communist party, (4,7%), Victor Medvedchuk, a pro-Russian politician (0,7%) and other candidates (4,9%).
Survey: relative majority of Ukrainians support the country’s EU membership. According to a survey, jointly conducted by Socis center and Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), 46,7% of Ukrainians support the country’s accession to the EU, while 33,8% opposed the idea. 38% of citizens back Ukraine’s membership in Russia-led customs union (CU) with 39,8% are against Ukraine’s Eurasian integration. 10-13% of Ukrainians remained undecided, the survey showed. A referendum on Ukraine’s foreign affairs priority would end up with the following results: 55,2% voted for the EU and 44,8% – for the customs union.
One protestor was seriously injured as a bomb exploded at EuroMaidan’s main office. One protestor lost his hand as a bomb exploded in the House of Trade Unions, the EuroMaidan’s main office. The bomb was hidden in a box with medicine, media reported.
Automaidan leader believes he was kidnapped by Russian special task forces. Dmytro Bulatov, a tortured leader of Automaidan, gave an interview in Lithuanian hospital assuming that he was kidnapped and tortured by Russian special task forces. They spoke only Russian and talked about us [Ukrainians] in third person, Bulatov said. He also did not rule out that Victor Medvedchuk, a pro-Russian politician and leader of Ukrainskyi Vybir [Ukrainian Choice] political movement, was involved in his kidnapping as the criminals asked a lot about the reasons why Automaidan picketed Medvedchuk’s house. Bulatov also emphasized that a guess on Russian special task forces involvement is based on his personal thoughts.
Over 100 Ukrainian diplomats supported Euromaidan. Over 100 of Ukrainian diplomats signed a petition expressing their solidarity with the people protesting on Maidan for better future of Ukraine, Liga reported. They backed peaceful settlement of the crisis based on effective dialogue, the news agency wrote, adding that the signatories also emphasized their support to Ukraine’s European integration as the country’s strategic course.
Ruslana named Ukrainian officials to be targeted by European sanctions. During her visit to Poland, Ruslana, a leader of Euromaidan movement, named Ukrainian officials to be targeted by sanctions. Among others she named Andriy Klyuyev, head of Presidential Administration, Vitaliy Zacharchenko, acting minister of interior, Mykola Azarov, former Prime Minister, and Oleksandr Yefremov, chair of the Party of Regions in the Parliament. Ruslana also emphasized, that the use of sanctions depends only on political will. How many people should be killed in Ukraine to make Europe imposing targeting sanctions? – Ruslana asked rhetorically.
General Prosecutor’s Office qualified the attack on Tetiana Chornovol as hooliganism. Roman Andreev, a Deputy Prosecutor General, said that the attack on Tetiana Chornovol, a EuroMaidan activist and a journalist investigating Yanukovych’s misuse of power, was an act of hooliganism.
General of police in Cherkasy threatened local authorities by massive protest if they fail to reduce tensions. Mykola Kapliy, a general of police and former head of interior ministry in Cherkasy oblast, threatened local authorities to bring more than 10 thousand people to the streets if they fail to reduce tensions in 3 days. He also noted that 40% of local police staff would switch on the peoples’ side if he calls them.
EuroMaidan commandant ruled out any negotiations with authorities unless detained protestors are released. Andriy Parubiy, an opposition MP and EuroMaidan commandant ruled out any negotiations with law enforcement agencies unless all detained protestors are released. We would not leave any singly barricade and building until the protestors’ demands are satisfied. Parubiy also stressed that contacts between veterans of Afghanistan war and “Pravyi Sector” with law enforcement agencies are not the negotiations.
A lawyer of a Euromaidan activist was left in custody for another 30 days. Victor Smaliy, a lawyer of Andriy Dzyndzia, a Euromaidan activist, was left in custody for another 30 days. Smaliy was arrested in December 2013 on suspicion of attempted murder of a judge. Andriy Dzyndzia was also detained in late 2013 but then released a few days ago, media recalled.
European Parliament called on the EU to introduce personal sanctions. European Parliament passed a harsh resolution on Ukraine calling on the EU and its member states to take immediate actions including increased diplomatic pressure and introduction of personalized targeted measures with regard to all those Ukrainian officials and legislators and their business sponsors who are responsible for the crackdown on and death of protestors. The resolution also urged to step up efforts to stop money laundering and tax evasion by Ukrainian companies and businesspeople in European banks. In addition, the MEPs expressed their full solidarity and support for the peoples’ efforts for a free, democratic, independent Ukraine and its European perspective.
Ashton: EU is more than willing to support investigation of violence in Ukraine.Ukrainska Pravda quotes Catherine Ashton, EU HR/VP, saying that the EU is more than willing to support investigation of violence in Ukraine. “Although there is a sense of violence decreasing, there is still great concern about the situation on the ground,” Ashton emphasized. The EU’s chief diplomat also underlined that there is a great concern to see that those who have committed violence are brought to justice and a great desire to see some kind of transparent and independent process to achieve that.
Füle: EU’s strategy on Ukraine is not centred around sanctions. Comments.uaquotes Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and ENP, saying that the EU has a strategy on Ukraine which is not centred around sanctions. The first stage of the strategy is de-escalation ensuring minimum stability and security. Second stage is about political process including creating environment for inclusive political dialogue to tackle medium and long term challenges Ukraine is facing, Füle said, adding that at this stage Kyiv should address the issue of constitution change. The third stage is about the Association Agreement, the Commissioner continued.
Putin’s advisor: Yanukovych has no other options but to use force against the riot.Speaking on the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, Sergey Glaziev, a foreign policy advisor to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, stressed that EuroMaidan could not be named as peaceful protest, Kommersant-Ukraina reported. When protestors throw Molotov cocktails into police and seize the administrative buildings it’s a riot and not a peaceful protest, Glaziev stressed, adding that Victor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s President, has no other options but to use force to restore the order.
Rybak: next parliamentary seating to be convened after constitutional amendments are prepared. Volodymyr Rybak, head of Ukrainian Parliament, closed today’s parliamentary seating, adding that the next one will be convened only after the MPs jointly developed changes to the Constitution, Ukrainska Pravda reported. Although opposition refused to delegate its representative to a working group on constitutional reform, Rybak believes that amendments to the Constitution would be tabled by the mid of the next week.
Chair of PoR faction: Constitution can be amended no sooner than September.Oleksand Yefremov, chair of the Party of Regions faction in the Parliament, said that his political force is ready to work o constitution changes, adding that the country’s main law could be amended no sooner that September as it takes two parliamentary sessions to pass the changes. Any other so-called constitutional acts would not be lawful and could be cancelled by a court, the MP emphasized.
Yatseniuk declared readiness to chair Ukraine’s government upon conditions. One of the leaders of Ukraine’s opposition, Arseniy Yatseniuk, declared readiness to take the helm of Ukraine’s government. However, as the precondition for such a step Yatseniuk considers the need for the cabinet to be formed only by Verkhovna Rada and be fully made up of opposition representatives. At the same time, the politician doubts country’s President Yanukovych is ready for such a compromise which will lead to the loss of his powers.
Klitschko calls for constitutional changes or early elections. The leader of opposition party UDAR Vitaliy Klitschko says that the return to the constitution of 2004 could be one of the viable mechanisms of overcoming the crisis in Ukraine. The constitutional reform, moreover, could ease tensions in the society, he added. However, if authorities do not agree on such a step, the early presidential elections can significantly contribute to paving the way for political solution to the crisis, Klitschko stressed.
Klitchko: Europe is ready to mediate Ukrainian crisis talks but this depends on Yanukovych. Segodnia.ua quotes Vitaliy Klitchko, an opposition leader, saying that the EU is ready to provide its mediators to facilitate government-opposition crisis talks. This, however, depends on the President Yanukovych, the opposition leader underlined, adding that European observers would not take decisions instead of Ukrainians.
Poroshenko: EU is ready to provide Ukraine with economic assistance. Following his meeting with Catherine Ashton, EU HR/VP, Petro Poroshenko, an opposition leader, noted that the EU is ready to provide Ukraine with economic help and to assist the country in conducting necessary reforms. The EU seeks to stabilize Ukrainian crisis, Poroshenko stressed, adding that Brussels dedicated the whole current week to Ukraine.
Parliament refused from holding plenary sessions all February long. Verkhovna Rada, Ukrainian Parliament, failed to approve a schedule of its new session launched on 4 February. Neither governments-loyal nor opposition MPs succeeded to pass its version of the schedule. The Party of the Regions (PoR) proposed to work according to a schedule developed in November while opposition backed an idea to hold parliamentary session all February long to settle the ongoing political crisis. Both propositions did not receive necessary 226 votes in favour.
Biden urged Yanukovych to pull back riot police and to release detained protestors. In his fourth telephone call with President Yanukovych, US Vice President Biden urged Ukrainian leader to take advantage of every opportunity aimed at finding a political solution to the crisis. This includes pulling back of riot police, releasing detained protestors, and establishing accountability for those responsible for beatings and attacks on journalists and protesters. Joe Biden also emphasized that the only viable path to peace and stability in Ukraine is through continued dialogue and genuine compromise to form a new government that can earn confidence of the Ukrainian people.
Ashton’s spokesperson: EU does not have a concrete aid package for Ukraine.According to Maja Kocijancic, a spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, EU HR/VP, the EU does not have a concrete plan of financial aid to Ukraine, RBK-Ukraina reported. The EU’s chief diplomat reiterated the necessity to hold dialogue, adding that previous conditions set by the IMF to Ukraine remain valid. The EU, however, considers financial support for Ukraine during the crisis, the spokesperson underlined.
Füle: de-escalation and stabilization of the situation is now the main priority. In his speech at the European Parliament, Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and ENP, stressed that de-escalation and stabilization of the situation is now the main priority. A new Ukrainian government, regardless of its composition, will need to enjoy sufficient trust by all sides, the Commissioner underlined, adding that discussions on the constitution are of particular importance and time is of the essence in that respect. “We are ready to support the process with expertise and advice.” Füle, moreover, noted that conditions for free and fair presidential elections of 2015 would need to be put in place. The European Union stands ready to assist all sides in advancing such a political track. In case of a positive scenario, we will be ready to extend our assistance, based on a genuine commitment to political and economic reforms, in cooperation with the IMF and other international actors, the Commissioner added.
Füle called on opposition to dissociate themselves from radical elements. Speaking at the European Parliament, Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and ENP, called on opposition and protestors to dissociate themselves from radical elements, pointing to evacuation of previously occupied ministry of justice and ministry of agriculture as a right move. The authorities from their side are responsible for respecting and protecting the freedoms of speech, assembly and media, the Commissioner continued. “So far, too little has been done to this end: peaceful protestors continue to be detained, often injured, and sometimes straight out of hospitals. Kidnappings and tortures by unknown perpetrators continue unpunished,” Füle, emphasized.
Putin’s spokesperson: Putin will meet Yanukovych in Sochi. Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President will talk to his Ukrainian counterpart Victor Yanukovych as well as to many other leaders in Sochi, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson of Vladimir Putin, said. The spokesperson did not specify the format of the meeting, the web site added.
Austrian embassy: Azarov, Arbuzov and Klyuyev don’t have Austrian citizenship.Austrian embassy to Ukraine disproved information previously widely reported by Ukrainian media on Austrian citizenship of Mykola Azarov, Ukraine’s former Prime Minister, Serhiy Arbuzov, Ukraine’s acting Prime Minister, and Andriy Klyuyev, head of Presidential Administration. This information has not been confirmed the embassy wrote.
Klitschko: constitutional reform opens a way out of the crisis. Vitaliy Klitschko, an opposition leader, believes that constitutional reform would allow Ukraine to settle the crisis. We should return to the previous edition of the Constitution which was unlawfully changed in 2010, the politician stressed, adding that otherwise Ukraine may face a social explosion. Klitchko, moreover, called for local elections to be conducted inter alia in Kyiv.
Opposition urged Rada to pass constitutional act. In his speech at the Parliament, Serhiy Sobolev, an opposition MP, called for adoption of a constitutional act restoring previous edition of the Constitution. This together with unconditional amnesty for detained activists and economic strategy aimed at rescuing Ukrainian weak economy would allow the country to peacefully settle the conflict. The Parliament, moreover, should order a new government to sign the Association Agreement with the EU, Sobolev added.Portnov: constitutional act has no perspectives. Andriy Portnov, first deputy head of Presidential Administration, believes that the constitutional act backed by opposition has no perspectives. The Constitution cannot be changed through adoption of an acts, Portnov stressed, adding that 2004 Constitution was criticized by PACE and the Venice Commission.
PoR MP Chechetov: opposition has not enough votes to pass constitutional act.Mykhailo Chechetov, an MP representing the Party of the Regions, stressed that opposition has not enough votes to pass the constitutional act restoring 2004 Constitution. He also advised the opposition to amend constitution based on respective procedure demanding MPs to pass amendments on two parliamentary sessions with 300 MPs voting in favour after the amendments are positively assessed by the Constitutional Court.
PoR MP Herman: there will be no changes in the Constitution before Yanukovych’s visit to Russia. Hanna Herman, an MP representing the Party of the Regions, believes that there will be no changes in Ukrainian Constitution before President Yanukovych visits Russia. Previously, Ukraine’s acting foreign minister Kozhara informed on Yanukovych’s plan to visit the opening of Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
Crimean Parliament may ask Russia for protection. Leaders of Crimean Parliament initiated amendments to the Constitution of the autonomy republic and began to work on possible appeal to Russia asking the neigbouring country for protection. According to Volodymyr Klichnikov, a PoR politician, the local Crimean authorities should ensure protection of the autonomy’s rights and freedoms amid the political crisis and the extremists’ struggle for power.
Bulatov promised to return to Ukraine and to continue the struggle. Dmytro Bulatov, a leader of Automaidan who is being treated in Lithuania, promised to return to Ukraine and to continue the struggle. According to his FB profile, the respective message was written by a friend of Bulatov as he himself cannot write or read at the moment. The activist also promised to hold a press conference in his hospital on 6 February.
A female self defense unit was set on Euromaidan. A female unit of self defense appeared on Euromaidan, media reported, adding that women would be taught how to peacefully protect themselves. They would not be involved in possible clashes on the barricades, the media added.
Steinmeier: Germany is ready to raise the issue of sanctions if crisis settlement fails. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s foreign minister, stressed that Germany is ready to threaten Kyiv by sanctions if the crisis settlement talks between authorities and opposition fails. The minister noted some progress in the negotiations, adding, however, that the most difficult stage of Constitutional reform is not reached yet. Steinmeier also expressed his hope that Russia correctly assessed the situation, and that conflict in Ukraine would not be repeated. I hope nobody in Ukraine and outside the country would foment the conflict, the minister emphasized, noting that the EU and Russia should not launch a race between themselves of who will pay more to Ukraine.
Germany’s envoy for Russian policy: West would give financial assistance for opposition government only. In his interview to Deutschlandfunk Gernot Erler noted that the West would provide financial assistance for Ukrainian government formed by opposition. This aid is called to assist Ukrainian reforms in the transitional phase, the diplomat added.
MEP Harms: Azarov, Arbuzov and Klyuyev have Austrian citizenship. According to Rebecca Harms, a leader of European Greens, Mykola Azarov, Ukraine’s former Prime Minister, Serhiy Arbuzov, Ukraine’s acting Prime Minister, and Andriy Klyuyev, head of Presidential Administration, have Austrian citizenship. The MEP also urged the EU to impose sanctions against Ukrainian officials, adding that at the same time Brussels should simplify visa regime for ordinary Ukrainians.
Azarov, Arbuzov and Klyuyev disproved information on their Austrian citizenship.Mykola Azarov, Ukraine’s former Prime Minister, Serhiy Arbuzov, Ukraine’s acting Prime Minister, and Andriy Klyuyev, head of Presidential Administration, disproved information on their Austrian citizenship.
MEP Brok calls on Brussels to ban Ukrainian officials from entering EU. Elmar Brok, the chair of EP foreign affairs committee, called on Brussels to ban Ukrainian officials involved in violent actions from entering the EU. The MEP pointed to the example of Mykola Azarov, Ukraine’s former Prime Minister, who left Kyiv for Vienna. Brok, however, called on the EU to lift visa regime for Ukrainian youth. Commenting on the current developments in Ukraine, the MEP urged for immediate return to the Constitution of 2004 which should be then followed by early elections. In this case the EU may adopt a package of short-term financial assistance for Ukraine, Brok underlined.
Opposition called for restoration of Constitution adopted in 2004. Arseniy Yatsenyuk, head of Batkivshchyna faction, called on the Parliament to pass a constitutional act restoring the Constitution of 2004. He also noted that opposition is ready to return Ukraine to parliamentary-presidential republic.
Tyahnybok called for immediate return to Constitution of 2004. Oleh Tyahnybok, head of “Svoboda” faction, called for immediate return to the Constitution adopted in 2004. The Parliament cannot work as usual pretending that nothing serious is taken place. Authorities supported by Kremlin intend to involve Ukraine into a civil war the opposition leader stressed, pointing to Ukrainian front recently established in Kharkiv. “Svoboda” has a number of reservations to the Constitution of 2004, Tyahnybok stressed, adding that the move aimed at finding a way out of the crisis.
Baloha expect Parliament to renew Constitution of 2004. Victor Baloha, a non-attached MP, expressed his hope that the Parliament would renew the Constitution of 2004 already on 4 February. According to the MP, there is a majority of MPs ready to back the constitutional act. From the other side, however, there are also forces interested in further destabilization of the situation, the MP noted, pointing to Victor Medvedchuk and Ukrainian front recently established in Kharkiv.
Lytvyn: some MPs may lose their parliamentary seats. Volodymyr Lytvyn, a non-attached MP and former head of the Parliament does not rule out that several MPs may lose their parliamentary seats. He also called to protect deputies, adding that the Parliament should maintain its work.
Ashton: EU and US jointly work on aid package for Ukraine. In her interview to The Wall Street Journal, Catherine Ashton, EU HR/VP, noted that the EU together with the US work on aid package for Ukraine aimed at helping the country to overcome the ongoing crisis. The EU chief diplomat also underlined that the numbers of the aid “won’t be small”, adding that it won’t hinge on Kyiv first agreeing upon a long-term IMF deal. The paper continues by quoting unnamed US diplomats saying that the aid is contingent to peaceful resolution of the crisis and to power-sharing deal between the President and opposition.
Füle called for EU membership perspective to Ukraine. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and ENP, called on European politicians for more decisive actions towards Ukraine. “If we are serious about helping this part of Europe to transform, the association agreement is only first step,” the Commissioner stressed, adding that the next one should be the light at the end of the tunnel. “You can’t transform this part of Europe without using this most powerful instrument [enlargement],” Füle added.
Komorowski called not to be scared of Ukrainian nationalists. Bronisław Komorowski, Poland’s President, called not to be scared of Ukrainian nationalists including “Svoboda” political party as they do not conduct xenophobic and anti-Polish policy. Their activities and mottos should be carefully followed, the President noted, adding that neither Ukrainian far right nor far left forces are too danger for the country.
Three amnesty bills are registered in the Parliament. Three bills on amnesty for Euromaidan activists are registered in the Parliament. One of them tabled by Svoboda MP Ihor Shvaika proposed to amend the already adopted amnesty law by lifting any conditions for the activists’ release. Another two documents developed by UDAR and non-attached MPs foresee adoption of a new amnesty law.
Lviv entrepreneurs refused from paying taxes until a government of national trust is formed. Lviv entrepreneurs united by the Committee of Lviv-based companies refused from paying some taxes until a new government of national trust is formed. Roman Zafijovskyi, head of the Committee, specified that the entrepreneurs would not pay taxes used for financing Ukraine’s law enforcement agencies including ‘Berkut’, Ukrainian riot police.
Automaidan expressed support to Klitchko and called on PoR MPs to prevent bloodshed. Activists of Automaidan movement expressed their support to Vitaliy Klitschko as the leader of the uprising, adding that their support would be revoked if the politician starts to pursue his personal interest. Automaidan, moreover, addressed MPs representing the Party of the Regions calling them to change the current dramatical situation in the country and to prevent possible bloodshed orchestrated by Putin, Medvedchuk and Klyuyev as well as Yanukovych’s will to retain power.
“Praviy Sector” thinks about becoming a political party. “Praviy Sector” plans to register itself as a political party and run at the next parliamentary elections. “Praviy Sector” is considered to be a far-right radical arm of the protests that took responsibility for clashes with police on Hryshevskiy street.
Prosecutor General’s Office has not found anybody guilty of beaten journalists.Iryna Herashchenko, an opposition MP, published a respond of the Prosecutor General’s Office to her request, saying that the law enforcement agency did not find anybody guilty of beaten journalist on 30 November, 1 December. There are 26 journalists found to be victims with nobody accused of beaten them. The General Prosecutor’s Office, moreover, remains silent on injured journalists shot allegedly by Berkut riot police in Hryshevskiy street, the MP added.
10 tons of Polish aid to Euromaidan crossed Ukrainian border. 10 tons of Polish aid to Euromaidan collected in several Polish cities crossed Ukrainian border, media reported, adding that this is the first large scale aid allowed to enter Ukraine by the State’s border guard service.
Yatseniuk: 122 protesters released but 116 more still in jail. 122 persons arrested for their participation in the Euromaidan protests were released from prison but 116 more are still kept behind the bars, said Arseniy Yatseniuk, one of the leaders of the Ukrainian opposition. “Our task is to free them all,” he said, adding that the EU also demands to release Yulia Tymoshenko, former Ukraine’s Prime Minister. He added that the opposition will demand full “reloading” of power in Ukraine and resignation of president Yanukovych.
Obama called to reshape Ukraine’s government. During his internet conference with the American citizens, US president Barack Obama said that “there should the way of reshaping Ukraine’s government” which will create room for “setting up a legitimate government.”
PoR MP called to hold early presidential election. Vitaliy Hrushevskyi, MP from the ruling Party of the Regions, spoke to the people on Maidan today saying that Ukraine “has to prepare itself to the presidential election”. Although it was reported that Hrushevsky left the Party, the MP denied these reports.
Journalist: Yanukovych faces increasing opposition within his own party. Mustafa Nayem, one of the leading Ukrainian journalists, argues in his article printed in Ukrainska Pravda that president Yanukovych faces increasing opposition within his own party. Oligarchs Rinat Akhmetov and Dmytro Firtash were facing difficulties with their bank accounts in the West recently, and therefore called president to take a more moderate position. MPs loyal to these businessmen (40 of MPs close to Akhmetov and 38 of those close to Firtash) can put the integrity of the Party at risk, the journalist says. Moscow calls to disperse the protests and to set up a new government able to control spending of Kremlin’s loans and keep Ukraine under Russian influence. In this situation Yanukovych is facing increasing pressure from the streets, from foreign powers and within his own party, Nayem says.
Weekly newspaper criticized Europe’s indecisiveness. Tetyana Sylina, journalist atDzerkalo Tyzhnia, a Ukrainian weekly, criticized the EU for its indecisive position over the Ukrainian crisis. The paper regrets that Brussels reacts to Ukrainian situation carefully and slowly, without taking decisive action. EU’s repeated statements that the Association Agreement is “still on the table” are outdated as Yanukovych has already “turned his back” to this table and Maidan is focusing more on other urgent issues. Although Ukrainians won’t reject their European dream, they still expect that Europe moves from its “deep concern” to real support of the fundamental values in Ukraine. The EU also has to understand that it bears part of the guilt for the events taking place today in Ukraine: it made a number of mistakes on the Ukrainian issue, including its unwillingness to open a more clear EU membership perspective of the 2004 Orange revolution, the journalist says.
Appeal court trial over detained activist to be held on Feb 5. Appeal court trial over detained activist Olexander Kravtsov will be conducted on February 5, at 12.20, 2-A Solomianska str. (http://goo.gl/maps/6drz4). Kravtsov was detained, beaten and tortured by Berkut (police special unit) but faces charges for attacking Berkut officers. Find more details in an article written by his wife, Olesia Mamchych.
Beaten activist needs financial support for urgent medical care. Vladyslav Zagorovka, beaten by Berkut on December 1st, needs financial support for urgent medical care. Assistance can be provided to the following bank account: receiving bank: PAO KB PrivatBank. Receiver’s code : 14360570, Receiver bank code : 305299, Account : 29244825509100, card number : 5168 7572 4307 8492, receiver : Zagorovka Svitlana Semenivna. More information is here
Court rejects Bulatov’s arrest. Shevchenkivskyi district court in Kyiv rejected investigators’ request to arrest Dmytro Bulatov, a leader of Automaidan (drivers’ wing of Euromaidan). Bulatov was kidnapped a week ago and was found severely beaten last Friday. Petro Poroshenko, one of the opposition leaders, said that court decision sets Bulatov free to go abroad for a medical treatment. Ukrainska pravda
Ashton and Nuland to visit Ukraine next week. Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative, and Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State at US State Department, said they would visit Kyiv next week. Nuland mentioned measures jointly planned by the US and EU in “close contact with the representatives of civil society and constructively-minded representatives of the Ukrainian authorities”.
EU foreign ministers to discuss the situation in Ukraine on Feb 10. The Council of the EU foreign ministers will discuss the Ukrainian situation on its next sitting on February 10th, said Hryhoriy Nemyria, deputy head of the Batkivshchyna party, after his meeting with Sweden’s foreign minister Karl Bildt. According to Nemyria, the ministers will also discuss possible sanctions as “one of the policy elements.” Bildt also says that a lot of work is going on behind the scenes, as the EU is trying to explain possible consequences to authorities, opposition and oligarchs if the situation aggravates.
Yanukovych will get back to work on Monday. President Yanukovych will get back to work on Monday after a “sharp respiratory sickness.” His press service reports about the “satisfying state of health” of Yanukovych.
International commission to investigate crimes against Ukrainian people, Poroshenko says. Petro Poroshenko, one of the leaders of the Ukrainian opposition, called to set up an international commission which will investigate cruelties over the Ukrainian people. As he said, both the Ukrainian opposition and the Council of Europe have appointed their representatives to this commission.
Lutsenko expects new majority next week. Yuriy Lutsenko, one of the leaders of the Euromaidan protests, said that people on streets “did almost everything they could” and now the parliament has to become a platform for finding the solution. “I believe that thanks to West’s sanctions and absurd terror of the authorities, a new majority can be set up in the parliament,” he said. “I know that majority of MPs signed an address to change the leadership of the Verkhovna rada (the Ukrainian parliament),” he also said, adding that setting up of the new majority, return to a 2004 constitution, setup of a new government and fixing the date of the early presidential election should be the key tasks for the next week.Foreign minister denies tortures over Bulatov. Leonid Kozhara, Ukraine’s acting foreign minister, denied severe tortures of Dmytro Bulatov, one of the leaders of Automaidan (drivers’ wing of Euromaidan). In an interview to Al Jazeera he said that Bulatov is “in a good physical shape, and only has a scratch on his cheek.” The acting minister also said that reports about Bulatov’s kidnapping and beatings were “untrue”. Yesterday Dmytro Bulatov was found cruelly beaten and tortured, with his photos distributed widely through internet.
Yatseniuk proposed four-point anti-crisis plan. Arseniy Yatseniuk, one of the leaders of the Ukrainian opposition, outlined a four-point anti-crisis plan which he discussed with US State Secretary John Kerry and EU high-rank officials. This plan includes, a) stopping violence, b) release of the hostages, c) investigation of kidnappings, beatings, tortures and murders, d) constitutional reform setting up a parliamentary-presidential republic, and holding early elections. Yatseniuk added that the debates also focused on the package of economic aid which Ukraine could get if the opposition takes the full responsibility for the events in the country. He spoke of at least USD 15 billion needed to stabilize the situation. Petro Poroshenko, another leader of the opposition, also said that the Ukrainian opposition agreed “concrete and real steps” on solving the crisis with John Kerry.
Ruling party creates an anti-Maidan movement. The congress of the Party of the Regions’ organizations set up a movement aiming at opposing the Maidan protests. The new movement coined “the Ukrainian front” will aim at “clearing the country of the occupants,” said Mikhail Dobkin, a Europhobic governor of the Kharkiv oblast. Some media say that the congress was critical to Yanukovych and sees him as a leader unable to find the solution to the crisis.
Unknowns burnt car of a Canadian diplomat. Unknown persons burnt the car of a Canadian diplomat, on top of over 20 cars burnt earlier and belonging to Euromaidan activists or people who took part in a car rally to Yanukovych’s residence last December. Police, however, suspects that the cars were burnt by the “participants of the mass protests.”
Tymoshenko calls for early election. In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Ukraine’s jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said she sees two solutions to the crisis. The first would consist in holding early parliamentary election on the basis of a new law ensuring exclusively “proportional” model. The second would imply early presidential election, although this option depends on the will of president Yanukovych.
Yanukovych revoked dictatorship laws and signed PoR drafted amnesty law.President Yanokovych signed bills adopted by the Parliament on 28-29 January into law. The President revoked legislative acts of 16 January restricting citizens’ freedom and signed the amnesty law drafted and voted by government-loyal MPs only. Previously opposition already criticized the amnesty law naming it the law on hostages.
Automaidan leader Bulatov reappeared after being vanished for almost 10 days. Dmytro Bulatov, a leader of Automadidan, reappeared after being vanished since January 22. Bulatov was kidnapped by unknown persons and tortured. One of his ears was cut while there are wounds from crucifixion. Commenting on the news EU Commissioner Štefan Füle called on authorities for swift reaction on kidnappings and torture.
Ministry of interior put Bulatov and other Automaidan leaders on wanted list.Ukraine’s ministry of interior put Dmytro Bulatov, Serhiy Koba and Oleksiy Hrytsenko, leaders of Automaidan, on wanted list. The ministry accused activists of organizing mass disorder. Dmytro Bulatov was found just yesterday after being kidnapped and tortured. Serhiy Koba has already leaved the country while Oleksiy Hrytsenko, a son of opposition MP Anatoliy Hrytsenko, was allegedly banned from leaving Ukraine.
Media: 26 unidentified dead bodies were found in Kyiv’s central morgue. 26 unidentified dead bodies were found in Kyiv’s central morgue, media reported, adding that 14 corpse were brought in 2014. Two dead bodies were found in Hrushevskoho street. Media also underlined that a mass burial is planned for 4 February.
Court dismissed 9 protestors under house arrest. Kyiv court of appeal dismissed 9 protestors detained in Hrushevskoho street under house arrest.
Ministry of interior: Euromaidan and violent actions were planned and organized in advance. Ukraine’s ministry of interior stated that Euromaidan as well as violent actions were planned and organized in advance. These conclusions were made based on analysis of removed servers of Batkivshyna political party. The servers were confiscated by police on 9 December.
Ukrainian army urged President to take immediate measures stabilizing situation.Ukraine’s ministry of defense disseminated an appeal of Ukraine’s armed forces to the President urging Victor Yanukovych to take immediate measures stabilizing the situation in Ukraine. Ukrainian military named unacceptable violent seizure of administrative buildings preventing authorities from performing their duties. The armed forces also stressed that further escalation of the conflict threaten Ukraine’s territorial integrity
NATO Secretary General called Ukrainian army to remain neutral. Following an appeal of Ukraine’s armed forces to the President, Anders Foghh Rasmusses, NATO Secretary General, called on Ukrainian military to remain neutral and not to take any sides in Ukrainian political conflict.
Sources: Yanukovych plans to meet Putin next week. According to unnamed sources from Presidential administration, Victor Yanukovych plans to visit Vladimir Putin at the end of the next week. The sources also noted that last time when the leaders met each other was 8 January, adding that this meeting was not announced officially.
EESC President: EU actively debates sanctions against Ukrainian officials.Ukrainska Pravda quotes Henri Malosse, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), saying that the EU actively discusses possible targeting sanctions against Ukrainian officials. If authorities continue to oppress protestors Europe would introduce sanctions, the official underlined.
Steinmeier urged Yanukovych to implement compromise reached with opposition.Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s foreign minister, called on Victor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s President, to implement promises given him to opposition. “It is time to be finally serious and to do what you [Yanukovych] promised to opposition,” the minister underlined. The web site also noted that the statement was related to recently adopted amnesty law drafted by the Party of the Regions.
Putin’s advisor: Yanukovych can either “suppress the rebellion” or lose power throwing Ukraine into chaos. Sergey Glaziev, an advisor to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, said that Victor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s President, would lose power if he does not “suppress the rebellion” provoked and financed by external forces. “Yanukovych is amid creeping coup therefore, the President as the guarantor of the Constitution and Ukraine’s security has no other choices but suppress the riot,” Glaziev stressed. Putin’s advisor, moreover, threatened Ukraine with chaos and internal conflict if the riot wins.
Russian MP Zhirinovsky: Russia would provide Yanukovych with bullets after the Olympic Games. Commenting on Victor Yanukovych’s medical leave, Vladimir Zhirinovski, a Russian MP, said that Ukraine’s President waits for better time to use violent actions against the protest. “Our client in Kyiv, Victor Yankovych, will show you scorching heat after the Olympics end,” the MP emphasized, adding that Russia would provide Yanukovych with bullets upon his request.
Polish media: Russia may actively interfere in Ukrainian crisis after Sochi Olympic Games, – Tusk warns. Polskie Radio quotes unnamed sources saying that Donald Tusk, Poland’s Prime Minister, warned Europe on possible significant deterioration of Ukrainian crisis after Sochi Winter Olympic Games due to Russian interference. The sources also underlined that Donald Tusk warned José Manuel Barroso, President of European Commission, on possible interruption of gas supply to Europe. The web site concluded by saying that Poland’s Prime Minister urged the EU to develop a common position on Ukraine
Parliament passed PoR drafted amnesty law. In the late evening of 29 January Ukrainian Parliament passed the Party of the Regions drafted amnesty law with 232 MPs out of 450 voted in favour. The law foresees amnesty for protestors if the seized administrative buildings and transport roads are cleared from demonstrators. The law also gives protesters two weeks to fulfill these demands. Ukrainian media underlined that the bill was adopted after Victor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s President, and members of his administration came to the Parliament to persuade PoR MPs to back this bill. An amnesty bill prepared by opposition did not impose any conditions for protestors’ liberation.
Yanukovych stopped mutiny within his party to adopt amnesty law. Insider printed a report on yesterday’s plenary day in the Parliament saying that the Parliament could have adopted not only amnesty law, but also constitutional reform and set a new majority. While opposition factions were not ready to support PoR-drafted bills, pro-government majority representatives insisted upon their colleague’s Yuriy Miroshnichenko’s draft law. The bill gives all protesters 15 days to leave all administrative buildings and streets (except Maydan) as a condition or applying the amnesty bill. According to different sources, some part of Party of Regions’ members (at most those controlled by Ukrainian business tycoons Rinat Akhmetov and Dmytro Firtash) disagreed with the majority and were ready not only to support one of the opposition-drafted bills, but join the parliamentary minority and vote for constitutional changes. This was a worrying sign for PoR-led majority, which decided to conduct a meeting and convince all faction’s members to support Miroshnichenko bill. Predicting possible split in PoR faction and parliamentary majority, President Yanukovych immediately came to Verkhovna Rada to personally press MPs to back Miroshnichenko-drafted variant and prevent the setup of a new majority. Anonymous sources say that President was screaming, using obscene rhetoric, and threatening rebelling MPs with very tough sanctions. After “the revolt” was put down, MPs supported draft law tabled by Miroshnichenko with 232 votes. At the same time, some sources do not rule out that Russia could have been staying behind the developments that finally put obstacles on opposition’s attempts to make the most of situation in Rada. Russia has tightened customs checks for Ukrainian goods on its border boosting concerns among PoR MPs that have business interests in Russia.
PACE adopted harsh resolution on Ukraine. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted resolution on Ukrainian crisis threatening Kyiv of depriving it of its voting rights if further violence against Euromaidan is applied. The Assembly also passed an amendment foreseeing possible introduction of sanctions in April if authorities turn to violent scenario again. The resolution, moreover, took note of public statements made by Ukrainian officials accusing Russia of exercising economic pressure to prevent signature of the Association Agreement.
Activists spent the coldest night of the protests. Last night became the coldest one since Euromaidan began on 21 November. The temperature reached -19 degrees Celsius, with the cold intensified by strong wind. Both protestors and police reduced people spending the night outdoors.
Yanukovych says authorities fulfilled all their obligations. In his address to Ukrainian people, President Viktor Yanukovych assured that authorities had fulfilled all their obligations taken within talks with opposition. Moreover, he mentioned that Verkhovna Rada had adopted law on amnesty “which guarantees freedom to protesters and release to those who had been detained during the conflict,” Yanukovych stressed. He blamed opposition for escalating conflict, saying that it “forces people to be outdoors amid severe cold for the sake of political ambitions of a number of leaders.” In this regard, the President urged Ukrainians to do their utmost “for peace and order.”
Lukash: law gives Yanukovych 15 days to sign anti-dictatorship law. Ukrainian legislation gives President Yanukovych 15 days to sign the so-called “anti-dictatorship law,” says Olena Lukash, Ukraine’s Justice Minister. As she said, President has to receive conclusions of the Cabinet of Ministers and of the Justice Ministry before signing the law. The “anti-dictatorship” law adopted on January 29th annuls the so-called “dictatorship laws” voted by the Ukrainian parliament on January 16th and imposing severe restrictions over freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of expression and other democratic principles.
Tyahnybok says that protesters won’t clear administrative buildings. Oleg Tyahnybok, the leader of an opposition party Svoboda, said that protesters will not clear administrative buildings as required by Yanukovych. He adds that by making release of detainees conditional on liberation of administrative buildings, the authorities deliberately take hostages in the talks with the protesters.
Parubiy: protestors will not leave Hryshevskoho street or administrative buildings.Following the adoption of amnesty law drafted by the Party of the Regions, Andriy Parubiy, an opposition MP and the leader of the protest camp on Maidan, stressed that protestors would leave neither Hrushevskoho street nor administrative buildings. The authorities should release detained protestors without any conditions, Parubiy emphasized, adding that above 200 people were imprisoned for their participation in the protests.
Human rights activists: the adopted amnesty law legalizes hostages. Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union criticized the adopted amnesty law saying that it breaches fundamentals of justice and legalizes hostages. The law set Ukraine in one line with pirates and terrorists, activists stressed, adding that the state de facto recognized that people were imprisoned to force demonstrators to leave the seized administrative buildings and streets. Adopting this law the MPs and the state in general committed a crime punished under Article 147 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code, the activists say.
Kwasniewski: Yanukovych loses support of part of his allies. Ukraine’s President Victor Yanukovych is losing support of part of his allies, said Poland’s former President Aleksander Kwasniewski in an interview to Polish radio. He explained Yanukovych’s unexpected visit to Verkhovna Rada with his fear that parliament’s majority is no longer on his side. “Disintegration of power is going on now,” he said.
General Prosecutor’s Office reports about 140 arrested protesters. According to General Prosecutor’s Office, 234 persons have been detained and 140 arrested during protest actions. Also 500 persons were injured, while 4 were reported dead, General Prosecutor’s Office said.
Acting minister of interior reported on death of a captain of Interior Troops. Vitaliy Zakharchenko, Ukraine’s acting minister of interior, reported about the death of Dmytro Dunets, 30-year old captain of the Interior Troops. The death was provoked by heart problems, the acting minister said, adding that the fatality was the outcome of daily stress and conflicts on Hryshevskoho street. Zakharchenko also expressed his condolences to relatives of the deceased. People are dying on both sides, he underlined, calling on opposition to put an end to the conflict.
Activist died after being poured by ice water in the freezing cold. Bohdan Kalyniak, an activist of Euromaidan, died in a hospital from pneumonia which he allegedly got on Hrushevskogo street where riot police poured activists by ice water in the freezing cold. The 52-year old activist spent 2 months on Maidan, media reported, adding that Bohdan was a businessman.
Rybak: Yanukovych threatened he could dissolve the Parliament. Verkhovna Rada’s Head Volodymyr Rybak said that during yesterday’s debates in Parliament President Viktor Yanukovych threatened Party of Regions’ MPs that he could sign a decree dissolving the Verkhovna Rada, if the compromise with opposition on challenging issues was not achieved.
Bildt: Russia renews economic pressure on Ukraine. “There are signs that the Kremlin is once again stepping up economic measures against Ukraine,” Carl Bildt, Sweden’s foreign minister, wrote in his Twitter page. He also underlined that the news about the new pressure appears less than one day after Russia-EU bilateral summit.Ukrainska Pravda, Liga, Gazeta.ua, RBK-Ukraina, Flavred, Finance.ua, Fakty.ua
Yanukovych takes a medical leave. Ukrainska Pravda quotes Presidential press service saying that Victor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s President, took a medical leave. The President has acute respiratory disease and fever, the press service added.
Acting justice minister: special commission on constitutional reform to be established on 4 February. On 4 February a temporal special commission on constitutional reform will be established in Ukrainian Parliament, Olena Lukash, acting minister of justice said. The commission will develop amendments to the constitution aimed at turning Ukraine into Parliamentary-Presidential republic and will be comprised of MPs representing all parliamentary factions.
Business tycoon called for compromise. Dmyto Firtash, a business tycoon and Head of the Employers Association, called for peaceful resolution of the conflict. The conflict already provoked casualties, Firtash stressed, urging both sides to continue dialogue leading to concrete results. This is the first reaction of Dmytro Firtash on Euromaidan since it started on 21 November.
Courts rule arrest of 49 persons detained during Hrushevskoho street clashes.Kyiv district courts ruled arrest of 49 persons suspected in engaging into mass riots on Hurshevskoho street. The detained are subject to possible 8- to 15-year imprisonment. 14 more are under home arrest. According to a statistics provided by Lb.ua, a news website, the number of the arrested on political reasons these days reached 66 people.
Court imposes 2-month imprisonment over an Automaidan leader. One of Automaidan leaders, Serhiy Hadzhynov, was imprisoned for 2 months, his lawyer Dmytro Vovdiy said. The court’s decision could have been taken in response to the events related to people’s attack on Cherkasy regional state administration on 26-27 January. Hadzhynov, meanwhile, denied he had been involved in any infringements of the law.
Opposition rejects amnesty bill proposed by the Party of the Regions. Majority of opposition MPs rejected an amnesty bill proposed by the Party of the Regions, which makes release of the arrested protesters conditional on unblocking administration buildings seized by the protesters. The opposition MPs insist that the bill should be passed without additional conditions.
Yatseniuk: any demands to dissolve EuroMaidan are unacceptable. Authorities’ demands to dissolve EuroMaidan in respond to a law pardoning detained protestors are unacceptable to people, Arseniy Yatseniuk stressed. The sides continue negotiations on the law on amnesty, the opposition leader noted, adding that amnesty would not apply to those who kill kidnap and torture people. Any attacks against journalist would not be tolerated either, he said.
Ukraine can lose its voting rights in PACE, warns draft resolution. Draft resolution of the Parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe warns that Ukraine can lose its voting right in the Assembly if violence is not stopped.
Canada imposed sanctions on Ukrainian officials. Canada imposed sanctions on Ukrainian officials involved in cracking down peaceful protests in Ukraine. According to the statement issued by country’s foreign and immigration ministries, Canada will continue supporting Ukrainian people who “stand fearlessly for democracy.”
Obama backs Ukrainian people. The US President Barack Obama said he supports Ukrainian people in their peaceful protests and struggle for the future. “In Ukraine, we are committed to the principle that provides all people with the right to express themselves freely and peacefully,” Obama emphasized.
Yanukovych met Ashton. Victor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s president, met Catherine Ashton, chief EU diplomat, who visited Kyiv today. President’s press service, however, does not disclose details of the meeting.
Putin: Russia would not interfere in Ukraine’s domestic affairs. Speaking on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President, noted that Moscow would not interfere in Ukraine’s domestic affairs, Newsru.ua reported. “I can imagine reaction of European partners if Russian foreign minister appears amid anti-European demonstrations in Greece or Cyprus,” Putin said, adding that Moscow disapproves visits of the EU diplomats and officials to Maidan given a specific nature of Russia-Ukraine relations. Putin also doubted a necessity of Russian mediation in Ukrainian crisis. The more mediators are present the worse, Putin said.
Russia suspends assistance to Ukraine despite Putin’s statement. Dmitriy Medvedev, Russia’s Prime Minister, said he proposed suspending Russia’s assistance to Ukraine until the composition of Ukraine’s new government is clarified. This move contradicts earlier statement of Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President, saying during a joint press briefing with EU leaders that Moscow would not revise conditions of its loan worth USD 15 billion after resignation of Ukrainian government. The loan was allocated to Ukrainian people not to the government, Putin noted during the briefing.
Ukraine’s dictatorship laws revoked yesterday. The Ukrainian Parliament revoked 9 of the earlier adopted 11 laws, which significantly restricted democracy in the country and had led to clashes between the security forces and protesters on the streets of Kyiv, EaP Media Freedom Watch reported. In particular, the parliament revoked laws providing for criminal responsibility for libel, mandatory registration of websites as information agencies, blocking of sites without a court decision, or banning collecting information about employees of law enforcement bodies and judges. The abolition of these regulations, widely called “dictatorship laws”, was a step agreed by the authorities and the opposition as the way out of the current political crisis.
Tusk: Ukraine needs European perspective. In his interview to TVP 1, a Polish TV channel, Donald Tusk, Poland’s Prime Minister, said that he prepares a tour around Europe aimed at seeking assistance in solving Ukrainian conflict, Liga reported. He also warned Kyiv from further escalation of the crisis, adding that violence could discourage many European political groups from positive contribution on Ukrainian side. “Ukraine is a great, proud and independent state with ambitious nation ready to fight for its future,” the Prime Minister said, doubting whether Kyiv needs mediation in solving the crisis. What Ukraine does need is European help and perspective, Tusk stressed, adding that Ukraine needs to find solution determining its future in Kyiv and only in Kyiv. Liga
Ex-President suggests becoming a guarantor in government-opposition talks.Leonid Kravchuk, the first President of independent Ukraine (1991-1994,) has offered his services in seeking the way out of a crisis, saying he is ready to become a guarantor in negotiations between the authorities and opposition. As he argued, Ukraine is “on a brink of civil war” as “protests have turned into rebellion.” In this regard, Kravchuk called on MPs to consolidate and vote for the amnesty bill. “Only you [MPs], together with the President, could resolve dramatic issues Ukraine is facing,” Kravchuk concluded.
PoR MP Oliynyk: interior minister should be responsible for police unlawful actions. Vitaliy Zacharchenko, Ukraine’s acting minister of interior, should bear political responsibility for unlawful actions committed by police amid mass protests, Volodymyr Oliynyk, an MP representing the Party of the Regions faction, said. The minister could be also criminally prosecuted if he gave criminal orders, the MP added.
PoR supporters robbed journalist. “Supporters” of the ruling Party of the Regions, who gathered on a rally summoned by the authorities near the Ukrainian parliament on Jan. 29, seized the accreditation card and iPad of Bohdan Kutepov, a journalist of hromadske.tv. The journalist was broadcasting the events online when participants of this pro-government gathering assaulted him. The Ukrainian authorities recently have openly used specially hired criminal-looking people to confront the peaceful protests, beat and intimidate protesters, and impede the work of journalists. Usually the police acts in concert with these groups and does not respond to their illegal actions. Source: EaP Media Freedom Watch
Journalists distributed photos of beaten colleagues among MPs On January 28th, during the briefing of Oleksandr Yefremov, the Chairman of the Party of the Regions faction in the Verkhovna Rada, journalists working at the Parliament held a rally of solidarity with their colleagues, who had been recently beaten. After posing the last question, the journalists stood behind the MP, holding photos of beaten journalists in their hands. Yefremov promised that all the responsible for the attacks on media workers would be brought to justice. These photos were afterwards handed to Yefremov. Similar actions were also conducted to draw attention of other MPs from the ruling party. Source: EaP Media Freedom Watch
Azarov stepped down. Mykola Azarov, Ukraine’s Prime Minister, stepped down,Ukrainska Pravda reported with reference to the government’s press service. The Prime Minister explained his resignation with the need to find a compromise amid the ongoing crisis. Azarov, however, noted that his government did everything possible for peaceful resolution of the conflict, adding that the government’s actions were lawful.
President Yanukovych accepted PM’s resignation. President Victor Yanukovych accepted resignation of Mykola Azarov, Ukraine’s Prime Minister and ordered the Cabinet to perform its duties. According to the Constitution, the PM’s dismissal leads to resignation of the whole government. The Cabinet continues its work until the new one is formed but no longer than 60 days. The media also quotes Vitaliy Lukianenko, Azarov’s spokesperson, saying that Serhiy Arbuzov, First Deputy Prime Minister, will serve as the acting Prime Minister.
Parliament cancelled 9 out of 12 laws of 16 January. Ukraine’s Parliament cancelled 9 out of 12 laws adopted on 16 January, Ukrainska Pravda reported. The decision was passed by 361 MPs voted in favour. The MPs, however, adopted once more 4 legislative act out of 9 previously cancelled. The most resonant laws restricting peoples’ freedom remained cancelled. The Parliament’s decisions need to be signed by the President before they enter into force.
Biden urged Yanukovych to withdraw special police units from the streets. In his telephone conversation Joe Biden, US Vice-President, urged Victor Yanukovych to withdraw special police units from the streets, Ukrainska Pravda reported. Biden also called on Yanukovych not to lose time and find a peaceful resolution of the conflict. This was already the second telephone conversation between Biden and Yanukovych during the last week.
Ashton is alarmed by possible declaration of a state of emergency. Catherine Ashton, EU HR/VP, issued a statement stressing that she is alarmed by reports that the government is planning to declare a state of emergency, Ukrainska Pravda reported. Ashton warned that the declaration of a state of emergency would trigger a further downward spiral for Ukraine, adding that nobody would benefit from it. The EU HR/VP also stressed that the crisis could be solved only by political means, calling for a genuine dialogue aimed at building a new consensus. Ashton, moreover, informed about her visit to Kyiv on the evening of 28 January.
Füle to continue negotiations with authorities, opposition and activists on 28 January. Korrespondent.net quotes David Stulik, Press and Information Officer at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, saying that Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and ENP, would continue his negotiations with the authorities, opposition and civil society activists to find a way out of the crisis. The Commissioner arrived on the evening of 27 January, Stulik noted, adding that Catherine Ashton, EU HR/VP, would also visited Kyiv on the evening of 28 January.
Füle welcomed Parliament’s decision to revoke laws of 16 January. Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and ENP, welcomed the Parliament’s decision to cancel laws adopted on 16 January, LB.ua reported. This is important session of Verkhovna Rada, the Commissioner wrote on his twitter, adding that the MPs’ decision starts to pave the way forward for an inclusive political process.
Kyiv would be visited by Ashton and 12 MEPs. On 28 January Catherine Ashton, EU HR/VP, would visit Kyiv, UNIAN reported, adding that 12 MEPs would also attend Ukraine with two-day visit. EP’s delegation is chaired by Elmar Brok, Head of EP’s Committee on Foreign Affairs. The MEP plans to meet Ukrainian authorities, opposition and civil society activists to find a way out of the current political crisis.
Saakashvili: Ukraine experiences the first geopolitical revolution of the 21stcentury. Mikheil Saakashvili, former Georgia’s President, wrote an article for The Wall Street Journal, saying that EuroMaidan is the first geopolitical revolution of the 21st century. Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin seeks to surround his state by weak countries controlled by Kremlin. This foreign policy goal explains Georgia war in 2008, Orange revolution defeat in 2010, Armenian and Ukrainian decisions not to move on their European integration in 2012. Putin, however, miscalculated aspirations and commitments of Ukrainian people to leave in free and democratic country with accountable government. The West has to react on Putin’s policy vis-à-vis former Soviet republics, Saakashvili stressed, adding that Washington and Brussels should impose targeting sanctions on Ukrainian officials and warn Moscow against interfering in Ukraine’s domestic affairs.
Online study: almost 100% of Ukrainians follow Euromaidan. According to an online study conducted by TNS, 93,9% of Ukrainians follow developments around Euromaidan. The main sources of information are internet (83,7%) and TV (81,2%). 48% of people support the protest while 31,2% has the opposite attitude. 44% of the citizens backs peaceful resolution of the conflict.
EU may impose sanctions if Kyiv declares state of emergency. According to unnamed diplomatic source, Brussels may impose targeting sanctions against Ukrainian officials if Kyiv declares a state of emergency, Liga reported with reference to DW. The sanctions would lead to visa ban and assets freeze, the source noted, adding that the EU does not want to talk on sanctions openly as they are the instrument of last resort.
Newspaper: government plans to complicate border crossing procedure for citizens of EU, US and Canada. Kommersant-Ukraina, a moderate daily newspaper, quotes an unnamed source saying that the government prepares a resolution tightening border crossing procedure for citizens of the EU, the US and Canada. The government firstly worked on possibility to re-introduce visa regime for the above mentioned citizens, the paper wrote, adding that this initiative was then refused due to inability of its implementation. At the moment, the government plans to introduce a fee for handling personal data of the citizens crossing Ukrainian, Kommersant-Ukraina continues, adding that this, according to the government, would not breach the EU-Ukraine Visa Facilitation agreement. The paper concluded by saying that tighter border crossing regime was supported by Ukraine’s foreign ministry and opposed by the country’s Border Guard Service.
EU-Russia summit to be held on 28 January. On 28 January Brussels hosts the 32ndEU-Russia bilateral summit, UNIAN reported, adding that the EU is represented by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, with Russian delegation to be chaired by Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President. The sides will discuss a number of bilateral issues including the application of EU’s 3rd energy package to South Stream, EU-Russia visa dialogue, EU’s antitrust investigation against Gazprom, as well as the issues of global and regional security, UNIAN wrote with reference to Kremlin’s press service. The news agency also quotes Maja Kocijancic, a spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, EU HR/VP, saying that the summit would last only one day, adding that Brussles and Moscow would discuss the questions of their common neighbours.
Interfax: Brussels accused Moscow of provoking Ukrainian crisis. Interfax, a Russian news agency, quotes unnamed senior EU official accusing Moscow of provoking Ukrainian crisis. Kyiv refused from signing the Association Agreement in Vilnius due to Russian pressure, the source noted, adding that Ukrainian society strongly reacted on the country’s U-turn as the move was against the peoples’ will. The senior source also denied that numerous EU delegations visiting Ukraine these days interfere in Ukraine’s domestic affairs. All these visits are called to settle the ongoing deep political crisis, the source underlined.