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Ukraine trying to recover from crisis

By Ana Robakidze
Monday, February 24
The Ukrainian parliament (Rada) voted to dismiss President Viktor Yanukovych and the situation in Kiev appeared calm. Parliament also appointed a newly elected speaker, Alexander Turchinov, as the interim President.

The whereabouts of the former President Yanukovich remain unclear. He left Kiev, but reportedly he was unable to leave the country on a charter flight at Donetsk airport.

Hours after protesters had taken control of parliament, the presidency and the cabinet of ministers on Saturday, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was freed from jail. She arrived in Kiev later on February 22nd to address around 50,000 people in Independence Square (Maidan). Timoshenko told the crowd they had brought down a dictatorship. She also added that no one should escape justice, anyone who shot the protesters have to be brought to justice.

“The heroes of the Maidan are our saviors and the saviors of Ukraine…You are the heroes. This is a country of free people, this is your victory,” she said. Timoshenko reminded the protesters that there is a lot more to be done and asked them to stay on Maidan until all the goals are achieved.

Ukraine now must recover from months of protest and political crisis. The West has urged Ukraine to move swiftly to form a unity government and help restore order. The Rada is going to form a new government and appoint a new Prime Minister as soon as possible. A presidential election is to be held on 25 May.

The country is in great need of financial support to recover from its debt-laden economy.

The United States and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) offered to assist Ukraine. Russia offered Ukraine a 15 billion USD bailout in December and Yanukovich agreed to pull out of an agreement with the European Union. Moscow has provided Ukraine with only 3 billion USD so far.

According to the official data, 88 people, mostly protesters, have been killed in the violent clashes since February 18, and several hundred have been badly injured.

Georgian Dato Kipiani 33 was among those killed in the clashes. Kipiani who had lived in Kiev for about a year, was one of the Maidan activists. He was found dead in the Kiev center with multiple gunshot injuries. According to his family he was killed by snipers.

Kipiani was one of the Tbilisi-based group, Free Zone activists who participated in the rallies in Kiev. Reportedly he also was a member of the oppositional United National Movement party.

Kipiani’s body was transported to Tbilisi late night, on February 23rd, where his family and UNM members were waiting.

Georgia is ready to help Ukraine with eliminating the consequences after the months of crisis.

About twenty Georgia doctors addressed Tbilisi City Hall for funding their travel expenses to Kiev, so they could volunteer there. City Hall managed to provide financial assistance to three doctors, who have already left for Ukraine.

The Minister of Labor, Health and Social Protection of Georgia is also ready to provide Ukraine with more medical and humanitarian aid. Minister, David Sergeenko said he had received a phone call from his Ukrainian counterpart and the two agreed Georgia will provide Ukraine with medical assistance as soon as it is requested by Kiev.