According to ABC News, thousands of Ukrainian protesters have blocked entrances to government buildings and are calling for the ouster of the Ukrainian president and his cabinet. In provincial cities there is also increasing anger at the president's decision to ditch a deal for closer ties with the European Union.
Another revolution in Ukraine?!
By Natalie Osipovi
Tuesday, December 3
The blockade of government buildings followed a huge rally in the capital by hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians on Sunday. The rally was mostly peaceful, until a group of protesters tried to storm President Viktor Yanukovych's office. After hours of scuffles, police chased protesters away with tear gas and truncheons. It was the violent police action against protesters early Saturday that galvanized the latest round of protests whose aim is to bring down the president and his government.
“I want the authorities to know that this is not a protest. This is a revolution!” said former interior minister and organizer of the Orange Revolution nine years ago, Yuri Lutsenko.
Opposition leaders have urged Ukrainians from all over the country to join the protests in the capital. "Our future is being decided here in Kiev," the leader of the Udar political party, Vitali Klitschko, said. He added that from next week the parliament building will be blocked and the government will not be allowed to make decisions which are against the nation’s interest. “First of all the opposition demands the resignation of the president. We also want last night’s events to be fully assessed by the EU and the U.S.A.” Klitschko announced.
USA ambassador in Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyat, has already denounced the police crackdown on the protests as “brutal and excessive”.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has also commented on the issue. Rasmussen has asked all parties to refrain from violence and the use of force at all cost. “I call on Ukraine, as the holder of the Chairmanship in Office of the OSCE, to fully abide by its international commitments to respect the freedom of expression and assembly. NATO fully respects all Ukrainians and the democratic ideals of the Ukrainian nation.” Rasmussen added.
On his Twitter account, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fule, also called on the government and the opposition to start dialogue immediately. “The disagreement should be solved peacefully.”he toldUkrainians.
The Ukrainian Rada’s vice speaker Ruslan Koshulinski has cancelled his trip to Georgia. “Everyone is dissatisfied. I have to cancel my trip to Georgia, because the work of the Rada may be interrupted. In a democratic country, all the ministers would resign by themselves, but unfortunately, this has not happened in Ukraine.”Koshulinski mentioned.
Ukraine has also found support in Georgia: a rally was held in front of the Embassy of Ukraine in Tbilisi. Holding the flags of Georgia, Ukraine and the EU, rally participants announced that Ukraine, as well as Georgia, is a part of Europe and should become an EU member. In response, Ukrainian embassy official Dmitrio Tretyakov explained that Ukraine has not given up on the EU. “I hope that Georgia and Ukraine will definitely become EU member states.” Tretyakov mentioned.
Speaker of the Georgian Parliament Davit Usupashvili expressed hope that the Ukrainian people will be able to realize their free choice.“We want the Ukrainian people to keep moving towards the democratic, civilized worldalongside Georgia. We are watching closely these developments. On the one hand it is an internal affair, but when it comes to democracy and human rights, of course we stand on the side of the oppressed.” Usupashvili said on December 2nd.
The parliamentary speaker said it is “very short-sighted” to think that Georgia can somehow benefit if things go wrong in Ukraine. “It is impossible for something to be good for Georgia if it is not good for the Ukrainian people.” he added.
Speaking with journalists in Tbilisi, Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze expressed hope that developments in Ukraine will end peacefully and both sides will be able to resolve the problem without resorting to force.“We call on both the demonstrators and the government to find consensus through dialogue without resorting to force,”Panjikidze said. She also added that nothing can influence Georgia’s European choice.