On Wednesday the State Duma issued a statement on the events in Ukraine. As the Russian Foreign Minister did the day before, the deputies called on external forces to refrain from interfering in what is happening and to not aggravate the situation.
“The State Duma calls on foreign politicians, who in violation of international law interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign Ukraine, to stop contributing to further escalation of the conflict,” said a statement adopted by Russian deputies on Wednesday. This statement was unanimously approved by the 388 deputies who participated in the session, according to ITAR‑TASS.
The State Duma believes that the aggravation of the situation has been provoked by both extremist forces within the Ukrainian opposition, and foreign politicians.
“Responsibility for the aggravation of the situation in Ukraine falls not only on the extremist elements of the opposition, but also on Western politicians who grossly interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign Ukraine, speaking at rallies organized by the opposition. The State Duma once again warns against outside pressure on Ukraine, against imposing on the country a geopolitical choice in favor of an association with the European Union,” says the statement.
At the same time Russian parliamentarians called on the Ukrainian opposition to renounce violence in any form, to put an end to violent confrontation, and to engage in constructive dialogue with the authorities. It should be noted that this dialogue still hasn’t started because of the mutual accusations of the parties against each other. “The actions by the protest movement are becoming more massive and more aggressive. Essentially, there are attempts to overthrow the legitimate government institutions by force.” This is how the Russian parliamentarians view the situation.
The statement also reminds of the December agreements, under which Ukraine got a loan and lower gas prices from Russia. “The State Duma is ready to substantially enhance interaction with the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, its various factions favoring the stronger partnership between Russian and Ukraine,” says the statement. It reportedly will be sent to the Russian government, to the President of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada, the Interparliamentary Assembly of CIS Member-States, as well as a number of other Commonwealth institutions.
Today the police reported that the activists are using improved “Molotov cocktails.” Skirmishes continue
On Wednesday in the center of Kiev, where the standoff between the opposition protesters and security forces continue since last Sunday, tensions flared again. In fact, the two sides collided in a close combat, each trying to push the enemy back. The epicenter of clashes formed in Hrushevsky Street, where protesters had put up barricades earlier that the “Berkut” special forces tried to dismantle.
The video: “Grani TV” (18 +):
A law enforcement source told Interfax that the reason why “Berkut” stormed the barricades was the reports that protesters had added into “Molotov cocktails” liquid sodium, which is a dangerous substance that causes chemical burns.
“Therefore, Berkut moved towards the the protesters,” said the agency source. He also noted that law enforcement officers took the containers with the new Molotov cocktail mixture, and then retreated.
Indeed, within an hour after the offensive by the security forces, who were able to dismantle the barricades and take a 500 meters long section of the street running to the Dnepr hotel, activists returned to their positions. To stun grenades fired by Berkut, people responded with fireworks and stones, according to Interfax. The speakers installed the Berkut cordon and shouted warnings about responsibility for wrongful acts.
Meanwhile, the internal forces continue to dismantle the barricades. Fragments of fences and other components of the protective structures are removed and carried back behind the police cordons, according to the Espreso.TV.
The NEWSru.ua website site gives details of what is happening in the heart of the Ukrainian capital and broadcasts the events. After 2 pm local time, the center of Kiev looked like this: law enforcers formed a tight cordon in front of Petrovskaya alley. Behind them there was an APC, and protesters kept burning tires to obstruct visibility for the law enforcement. Then the protesters threw stones at the riot police, in response to shots fired from airguns.
NEWSru.ua also released the following statement: “We got phone call on our hotline from the state radio, which is located on Khreschatyk, near the Chocoladnitsa café. The personnel was told that they must leave the premises until 4 pm (6 pm Moscow time). They are ready for a total cleanup of Maidan!”
On the day repressive laws came into force, Yanukovych promised to deliver to Ukrainians a “free and fair” country
Meanwhile, President Viktor Yanukovych, who the day before ignored the talks with one of the opposition leaders, the leader of the “Udar” Party Vitali Klitschko, congratulated Ukrainians on the Day of Unity and Freedom, celebrated in the country on January 22.
“It is the national unity that guarantee that Ukraine is a free European country,” says the presidential statement, published on its website.
“The difficult processes that are going on in Ukraine became a test of maturity, internal unity and tolerance of our nation. And I am confident that Ukraine will emerge strong from the political and economic challenges that have befallen our country,” -said the President.
Having listed the challenges the government faces in 2014, Yanukovych continued: “We are all different, but we are united. And nobody will ever manage to make us apart or pit us against one another. I’m sure we all share the values and priorities, such as democracy, rule of law, modernization of all spheres of public life. And it is on these priorities, that we will build a political dialogue.”
“I am convinced that 2014 will be a year of understanding and frank dialogue about our common future between representatives of different political forces and civil society. I am sure that only honest dialogue is the only way to effectively address the issues facing the country. I understand and support the desire of people to live in a free, fair, strong and prosperous Ukraine. And I will do everything I can to realize these aspirations,”concluded the President.
It has to be noted, that this text was published on the same day when the controversial repressive laws became effective in Ukraine. Among them a number of “anti-rally” measures, criminal liability for defamation and extremism, stricter requirements for internet and mobile operators, an amnesty for law enforcement for use of force against protesters, and a number of other rules.
According to experts, the independent media and the opposition, these measures are “draconian” and turn the country into a “police dictatorship.” They were strongly condemned by the U.S. and the European Union. Moreover, Washington threatened sanctions and then in fact introduced them: visas were cancelled for a number of individuals implicated in using force against the Maidan activists.