Wednesday, August 27, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Kiev protesters attack building with police inside

APTOPIX Ukraine Protest

Ukrainian protesters stand behind a barricade in front of riot police Saturday in central Kiev as clashes continue to escalate. AP photo

By
From page A2 | January 26, 2014 |

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — New violence erupted in Ukraine’s capital during the night as a large crowd attacked a government exposition and conference hall where police were stationed inside.

Early Sunday, demonstrators were throwing firebombs into the Ukrainian House building and setting off fireworks, and police responded with tear gas. Although the crowd created a corridor at the building’s entrance apparently for police to leave, none were seen coming out.

The outburst underlined a growing inclination for radical actions in the protest movement that has gripped Kiev for two months. The building under attack is about 270 yards down the street from Independence Square, where mostly peaceful demonstrations have been held around the clock since early December and where protesters have set up an extensive tent camp.

Clashes with police broke out a week ago in the wake of new, harsh anti-protest laws.

More-moderate opposition figures, including heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, have tried appealing to stop the clashes, but have been booed, and one time Klitschko was sprayed with a fire extinguisher.

Another top opposition figure, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said Saturday that the protests will continue despite the offer by embattled President Viktor Yanukovych to make him prime minister.

The protests began in Kiev after Yanukovych shelved a long-awaited trade pact with the European Union in favor of securing a bailout loan from Russia, and boiled over into violence a week ago over the new anti-protest laws.

Yatsenyuk told the crowd at the main protest site that Yanukovych must still meet several key demands of the opposition and that talks will continue.

Yatsenyuk said a special session of parliament called for Tuesday could be decisive. Yanukovych has said that session could discuss a government reshuffle and changes to the new anti-protest laws.

Those laws ignited clashes between police and protesters a week ago at a site near the Ukrainian parliament, about a 10-minute walk from Independence Square.

The building under attack on Sunday lies between those two points. The assault started after an estimated 200 police were seen entering the building and speculation spread that they were preparing to disperse demonstrators.

“Tuesday is judgment day,” Yatsenyuk told protesters, referring to the parliament session. “We do not believe a single word of theirs. We believe only actions and results.”

At a later news conference, Yatsenyuk said, “We are not throwing out the proposal, but we are not accepting it, either. We are conducting serious consultations among three opposition forces.”

He also said the opposition would demand that the government sign a free trade agreement with the EU and release political prisoners, including former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

The opposition also is demanding early presidential elections.

Yanukovych’s latest offer, coming as protester anger rises and spreads from the capital to a wide swath of the country, appeared to have been both a concession and an adroit strategy to put the opposition in a bind.

Accepting the offer could have tarred Yatsenyuk among protesters as a sell-out, but rejecting it would make him appear obdurate and unwilling to seek a way out of the crisis short of getting everything the opposition wants.

The offer came hours after the head of the country’s police, widely despised by the opposition, claimed protesters had seized and tortured two policemen before releasing them. The opposition denied it and said Interior Minister Vitali Zakharchenko was making a bogus claim in order to justify a police sweep against protesters.

Three protesters have died in the past week’s clashes, two of them from gunshot wounds and a third of unspecified injuries. The Interior Ministry said a policeman was found shot in the head overnight. No arrests have been made or suspects named.

In the meeting with opposition leaders where he made the offer to Yatsenyuk, Yanukovych also agreed to discuss ways of changing Ukraine’s constitution toward a parliamentary-presidential republic, which was one of the demands of the opposition, according to a statement on the presidential website.

If that change went through, the prime minister would have more powers and would be elected by parliament, not appointed by the president. Yanukovych backers currently have a majority in the parliament and the next scheduled election for the legislature will be in 2017.

Earlier, Zakharchenko said the two police officers had been released with the help of negotiations involving foreign embassies. He said they had been hospitalized, but didn’t give details of how they allegedly were abused. He earlier said the officers were seized by volunteer security guards at the protest gatherings in Kiev and held in the city hall, which protesters have occupied since December and turned into a makeshift dormitory and operations center.

But the commandant of the corps, Mykhailo Blavatsky, told The Associated Press that no police officers had been seized.

“The authorities are looking for a pretext to break up the Maidan ( and creating all kinds of provocations,” he said. “Capturing a policeman would only give the authorities reason to go on the attack and we don’t need that.” Maidan is the Ukrainian name for Independence Square.

Zakharchenko earlier said a third captured officer had been released and was in serious condition in a hospital.

“We will consider those who remain on the Maidan and in captured buildings to be extremist groups. In the event that danger arises, and radicals go into action, we will be obliged to use force,” Zakharchenko said.

In the city of Lviv, where support for Yanukovych is minuscule, regional lawmakers on Saturday voted to establish a parallel government. Although the move was largely symbolic, it demonstrated the strong animosity toward the government in Ukraine’s west. Ukrainian politics largely is divided between the Russian-speaking east, which is the industrial heartland, and the Ukrainian-speaking west.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has pressed hard to keep Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, in his nation’s political and economic orbit, but more Ukrainians favor closer ties with the 28-nation EU than a new alliance with Russia.

On Saturday, about 100 protesters briefly occupied the headquarters of the energy ministry in downtown Kiev. Minister Eduard Stavitskiy said the country’s nuclear energy facilities were placed on high alert.

————

By Jim Heintz and Maria Danilova. Yuras Karmanau in Kiev and Laura Mills in Lviv contributed to this story.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

City, plaintiffs settle suit over water rates

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Scrap the MRAP, council says, but wants a talk with cops

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Yolo grows sunflower seeds for the world

By Margaret Burns | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
True Blue Devil Arnold gave back starting in high school

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

American militant reportedly killed in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Gaza cease-fire holds as sides weigh gains

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

California beach town sees flooding from hurricane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Assembly passes campus sexual-assault bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Play groups offered by Center for Families

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Solar-cooking workshop set at Food Co-op

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Give blood and get a free movie ticket

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Chat with Poppenga at coffee shop

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sunder campaign distributes signs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Dinner, auction benefit Yolo County CASA

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Farmworkers’ son wins prestigious NIH scholarship

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Interested in Portuguese? Drop by I-House

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Global warming on group’s agenda

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

A sweet reward for turning in cash

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4

 
Yolo Federal to hold photo contest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Try yoga, meditation at Holistic Health Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Troops get ‘Hugs From Home’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Raley’s pays $1.6 million to settle hazardous-waste lawsuit

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Back-to-school party benefits Archer campaign

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Breast cancer program examines surgery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Crisis nursery bill on governor’s desk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

UCD West Village gets an electric Zipcar

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
 
Documentary reveals ‘The Village Under the Forest’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Little Rock hero featured at reunion

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
UCD ranks No. 16 for serving the public interest

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Wolk’s infrastructure bill clears state Senate

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
.

Forum

Parents could use a hand at home

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Play structure idea endorsed

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Thanks for firearms info

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Obama risks alienating Latinos

By Tom Elias | From Page: A6

A water plan for all of California

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

MRAP sends the wrong message

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Buschman, Cats mute the Sounds

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
New coach eager to see his Aggie charges hit the courses

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Shaw respects Aggies, while Gould is happy to get a shot at Stanford

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils prep for tough 2014 volleyball schedule

By Chris Saur | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Bumgarner deals as Giants blank Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Carter’s blast send Astros past A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sports briefs: Online registration ends Friday for Labor Day Races

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

Field to fork: Play catch-up with summer’s produce

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Franco M. Navazio, M.D.

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, August 27, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6