Wednesday, January 28, 2015
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

 
Police ID suspect in South Davis hit-and-run crash

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
Shrem Art Museum is a work of art itself

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Thieves swipe Gold Rush-era nuggets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Blizzard-stricken East digs out amid second-guessing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
CASA seeks volunteers to advocate for kids

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
UC Davis doctors strike

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Community invited to Fenocchio memorial

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
SHE to lead Center for Spiritual Living in sound healing

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Teens Take Charge program accepting applications

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Kiwanis Crab, Pasta Feed benefits local charities

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Registration open for PSA Day at Davis Media Access

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Brick sales will benefit Hattie Weber Museum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Take a hike with Tuleyome on Feb. 7

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

The Soup’s On for NAMI-Yolo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Capay Valley Almond Festival will tempt your taste buds

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Suds for a bug: Contest is over

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A7

Rebekahs’ crab feed benefits local families

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Learn pattern darning tips at guild meeting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

State fails to track billions in mental health funds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
CSU chancellor calls for increasing graduation rates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Covered California enrollment events planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
.

Forum

Family feels cut off here

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Let’s speak with accuracy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
A stunning contradiction here

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

It’s the final freedom

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Move past the stereotypes

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Think again on euthanasia

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

 
Davis club ruggers open with nationally celebrated Jesuit on Friday

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Williams-less Gauchos will test Aggie men

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
Devil snowboarders place second in short and slushy GS

By Margo Roeckl | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Lady Blue Devils take care of business

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS ski team takes second on a déjà vu day

By Tanya Perez | From Page: B8 | Gallery

.

Features

Name droppers: Arboretum director wins leadership award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Lemon tree, very pretty: Our most local fruit?

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Arts

Red Meat, Deke Dickerson bring rockabilly honky-tonk twang to The Palms

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Granger Smith to play at The Davis Graduate

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Art science speaker series event set for Feb. 5

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Young musicians to perform Winter Concerto Concert

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Mary Beth Warzecka

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Death notice: Betty J. Cogburn

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, January 28, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B6