Yesterday could have been a day of bloodshed, but instead was a non-violent day of victory for the protesters in the street. The police and Presidential administration deserted the capital, letting protesters take over. President Yanukovych refused to resign, but the Rada impeached him and empowered a new government. Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was released, and a new chapter begins today for Ukraine.
But where is Yanukovych, and what happens next?
Yesterday’s liveblog can be found here. For an overview of what’s behind the protests and analysis of today’s news see today’s new podcast. For a summary of the first 24 hours of events in Ukraine, see our translation, What Happened Overnight in Kiev and Throughout Ukraine.
Here is a livestream of the events:
1550 GMT: In just ten minutes, The Interpreter’s managing editor James Miller will be on New York City’s WHCR 90.3FM talking about Ukraine. Listen on the radio, or listen online here.
1545 GMT: On Friday, when we ended our coverage, the President seemed defiant, the protesters in the streets had declared that they were going to stage a revolution on Saturday morning if he did not step down, and the opposition politicians who signed a deal with President Yanukovych could not talk them down.
We expected bloodshed and revolution on Saturday. The whole world did. We got revolution, but no bloodshed. The police forces retreated, the protesters took over Kiev, and the Presiden’t administration had fled.
Yesterday could have turned out VERY differently. For an idea of how high the stakes were, listen to our podcast, which discusses the basics of the situation in Ukraine and sets the stage for the last two days. It was recorded at about noon on Friday — and as you can hear, the stakes were very high indeed.
- The newly appointed Speaker of the Rada, Oleksandr Turchynov, has been named interim president. Elections for a new president will be held on May 25.
- Yesterday, there were two important decisions of the Rada that may get lost – Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara and Education Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk were fired, and Incomes Minister Oleksandr Klimenko and former Prosecutor-General Viktor Pshonka were issued arrest warrants. The old regime has been stripped away.
- Yulia Tymoshenko says she is not seeking a nomination as prime minister.
- The protesters in Maidan are in control of the entire capital, Kiev.
- It’s still not clear where some members of the former administration are, including deposed PResident Vikton Yanukovych.
The Interpreter’s staff is traveling, resting, or doing interviews today, but we will make rolling updates when we can. Our Ukraine coverage will return to full status tomorrow.