Clashes amid huge Ukraine protest against U-turn on EU


#1

bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25176191 I think rioting in order to join the European Union is complete madness.


#2

Hail Mary,
Full of grace,
The Lord is with Thee.
Blessed art Thou amoungst women,
And blessed is the fruit of Thy womb,
Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of death,
Amen
:gopray:


#3

I can understand the frustrations of those who demonstrated, as they felt pulled in a direction they did not want to take, that of yet more control by Moscow.

It is a pity, as is often the case in large demonstrations, that hotheads spoiled what was for most of the crowd an attempt at dignified peaceful protest.

I pray that sense and reasonableness may win out. Putin still has some way to go to fully emerge from his Cold War shell.

Loving Father, you have given all peoples one common origin. It is your will that they be gathered together as one family in yourself. Fill the hearts of mankind with the fire of your love and with the desire to ensure justice for all. We humbly ask this in your Divine Son's name. Amen.


#4

Ukraine should pursue a middle course if they’re that concerned with Russia, but they should definitely not align themselves with the EU and the West.


#5

[quote="Seamus_L, post:4, topic:346815"]
Ukraine should pursue a middle course if they're that concerned with Russia, but they should definitely not align themselves with the EU and the West.

[/quote]

Hmmmn, but why not? So long as they are also mindful of the Russian Bear and take care not to stir up paranoia.


#6

KIEV, Ukraine – ** A protest by about 300,000 Ukrainians angered by their government's decision to freeze integration with the West turned violent Sunday, when a group of demonstrators besieged the president's office and police drove them back with truncheons, tear gas and flash grenades. Dozens of people were injured.**

The mass rally in central Kiev defied a government ban on protests on Independence Square, in the biggest show of anger over President Viktor Yanukovych's refusal to sign a political and economic agreement with the European Union.

The protesters also were infuriated by the violent dispersal of a small, opposition rally two nights before.

While opposition leaders called for a nationwide strike and prolonged peaceful street protests to demand that the government resign, several thousand people broke away and marched to Yanukovych's nearby office.

A few hundred of them, wearing masks, threw rocks and other objects at police and attempted to break through the police lines with a front loader. After several hours of clashes, riot police used force to push them back.

Dozens of people with what appeared to be head injuries were taken away by ambulance. Several journalists, including some beaten by police, were injured in the clashes.

Opposition leaders denounced the clashes as a provocation aimed at discrediting the peaceful demonstration and charged that the people who incited the storming of the presidential office were government-hired thugs.

Several opposition leaders, including world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, walked over to Yanukovych's office to urge protesters to return to Independence Square. Order appeared to have been restored by Sunday night, with rows of riot police standing guard behind metal fences.

Some protesters then headed to Yanukovych's residence outside Kiev, but their cars were stopped by police.

Speaking before the vast crowds on Independence Square from the roof of a bus, the opposition leaders demanded that Yanukovych and his government resign.

"Our plan is clear: It's not a demonstration, it's not a reaction. It's a revolution," said Yuriy Lutsenko, a former interior minister who is now an opposition leader.

Chants of "revolution" resounded across a sea of yellow and blue Ukrainian and EU flags on the square, where the government had prohibited rallies starting Sunday. Thousands of protesters remained late into the evening and some were preparing to spend the night on the square.

The demonstration was by far the largest since the protests began more than a week ago and it carried echoes of the 2004 Orange Revolution, when tens of thousands came to the square nightly for weeks and set up a tent camp along the main street leading to the square.

The opposition leaders urged Ukrainians from all over the country to join the protests in the capital.

"Our future is being decided here in Kiev," Klitschko said.

Ukrainian lawmakers meet Monday for consultations and planned to hold a parliament session Tuesday. The opposition is hoping to muster enough votes to oust Prime Minister Mykola Azarov's Cabinet after several lawmakers quit Yanukovych's Party of Regions in protest.

The U.S. Embassy issued a joint statement from U.S. and EU ambassadors encouraging Ukrainians to resolve their differences peacefully and urging "all stakeholders in the political process to establish immediate dialogue to facilitate a mutually acceptable resolution to the current discord."

Protests have been held daily in Kiev since Yanukovych backed away from an agreement that would have established free trade and deepened political cooperation between Ukraine and the EU. He justified the decision by saying that Ukraine couldn't afford to break trade ties with Russia.

The EU agreement was to have been signed Friday and since then the protests have gained strength.

"We are furious," said 62-year-old retired businessman Mykola Sapronov, who was among the protesters Sunday. "The leaders must resign. We want Europe and freedom."

As the demonstrators approached Independence Square and swept away metal barriers from around a large Christmas tree set up in the center, all police left the square. About a dozen people then climbed the tree to hang EU and Ukrainian flags from its branches.

Several hundred demonstrators never made it to the square. Along the way they burst into the Kiev city administration building and occupied it, in defiance of police, who tried unsuccessfully to drive them away by using tear gas.

The EU agreement had been eagerly anticipated by Ukrainians who want their country of 45 million people to break out of Moscow's orbit. Opinion surveys in recent months showed about 45 percent of Ukrainians supporting closer integration with the EU and a third or less favoring closer ties with Russia.

Moscow tried to block the deal with the EU by banning some Ukrainian imports and threatening more trade sanctions. A 2009 dispute between Kiev and Moscow on gas prices resulted in a three-week cutoff of gas to Ukraine.

Yanukovych was traveling to China for a state visit this week. Afterward, the president planned to visit Russia and reach agreement on normalizing trade relations, Azarov said Sunday.

For Yanukovych, memories of the Orange Revolution are still raw.

Those protests forced the annulment of a fraud-tainted presidential election in which he was shown to have won the most votes. A rerun of the election was ordered, and he lost to Western-leaning reformist Viktor Yushchenko.

foxnews.com/world/2013/12/02/thousands-pro-eu-demonstrators-angry-with-government-march-through-ukraine/


#7

Someone's going to get killed there if this keeps escalating rt.com/news/kiev-standoff-opposition-authorities-568/


#8

The protests were peaceful until President Yanukovych sent in brutal Berkut (militia) troops to bang heads, literally, with truncheons. The hundreds injured were mostly students and media, not police as some anti-Ukrainian sites have erroneously reported. The reporter from EuroNews had his head cracked even though the militia could see he was press and people shouted such. Initially, the protests were started by Ukrainian students and were completely apolitical (no political party flags) but now the whole country is up in arms.

The Ukrainian Catholic Church’s Cardinal Husar has explicitly supported the protests, as have the leaders of all three of Ukraine’s Orthodox Churches (but not violence obviously). All realize that the current regime running Ukraine is thoroughly corrupt and amoral. Protestors have turned to the EU because, despite all its problems, it at least can help with ensuring that some rule of law gets a foothold. Yanukovych’s regime runs the country completely arbitrarily with no rule of law or accountability. Even members of his political party (many of whom he bought at the price of one million dollars per parliamentary seat) are morally repulsed by his regime’s resort to the Berkut.

Yanukovych and his sons have become the richest family since he became President. He has constructed for himself a massive palatial mansion with a yacht park and exotic animals and the most expensive furniture, while common Ukrainians suffer in the morass of corruption, no rule of law, and penury. Students have to pay bribes for school and Yanukovych’s Minister of Education knows this and does nothing about it. For health care, Ukrainians are having to resort to bribes. All the basic things we take for granted in the West. And nobody can do anything about it because the President himself is at the top of a corrupt pyramid.

He is now fighting simply for his and his family’s wealth, not the welfare of Ukrainians. The danger, which already started, is that he will pull the old trick of using provocateurs to stain the protests. He has already done this before. Here is a clip from the Presidential election in 2004 where Yanukovych pretended to be shot by Ukrainian nationalists to gain sympathy. The set-up went wrong when Yanukovych fell at the wrong time after an egg was thrown at him. He ended up in hospital. The provocateur who was supposed to “shoot” him with a fake gun hadn’t had the time as an egg was thrown first.
youtube.com/watch?v=bM90dy-qnNc

He then went on to make a painful speech (pretending to have been shot) from his hospital bed against Ukrainian patriotism. It was a complete joke, and now he is the President of Ukraine. In 2004, during Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, he chided then President Kuchma of Ukraine for not sending in tanks to disperse the square of its then peaceful protesters. Bloodshed was not an issue for him then, nor will it be now.

The people of Ukraine need prayers and help, or they will sink into oblivion under this President.


#9

Although I do not condone violence, I can see why this large group of people did what they did and it is nice to see that people still can ban together over a similar interest and fight back. I cant remember the last time I heard of something like this taking place in the US, a place that was built on such actions and civil disobedience, but in modern times, most americans choose to sit idly by and watch it on TV, versus marching in the street over something they believe in.

I think if the US had more patriotic citizens, we would see similar crowds and incidents in the US on a daily basis.


#10

By way of clarification to my post above I should say the Ukrainian Catholic Cardinal Husar and the leaders of Ukraine's three Orthodox Churches have come out in favour of a pro-European policy for Ukraine, which declaration came out about ten days ago I believe. They also have since condemned violence. The situation changes rapidly now from day to day, so since the common pro-European declaration the heads of Ukraine's Churches have made further remarks.

Cardinal Lubomyr Husar: "The government has driven us over the edge. The nation feels this very, very strongly, is fired up – the people have been mobilized to support their fundamental interests, to support their freedom."
risu.org.ua/en/index/all_news/state/national_religious_question/54401/

And the latest which has been translated into English:

"Religious Leaders accused the ruling regime of staging a coup by using brutal force to disperse the peaceful demonstration at Maidan Square.
The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate appealed to his compatriots."As a Church we morally condemn the brutal force against civilians, which was used today at the capital's Independence Square, -he said. - We also encourage everyone - especially the police, and also the participants of public actions to prevent further violence."
The head of the UGCC, Patriarch Sviatoslav ( Shevchuk) expressed his sadness over the events that took place last night at the Independence Square in Kiev. "We condemn the violence used by the law enforcement officers to civilian," - he said. The hierarch warned not to use the force in response. "We ask you not to allow even greater escalation of violence which could lead to even more tragic consequences. We must not respond with violence to violence, "- said the Patriarch Sviatoslav ( Shevchuk).

Due to recent political events in the country the press service of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) issued a statement of the Head of the UOC (MP), Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan). The main message of this document is to prevent a divide of the Ukrainian society and to pray for peace, love, to overcome the discord and hatred, to prevent violence and to resolve misunderstandings."
risu.org.ua/en/index/all_news/state/church_state_relations/54443/

And the Head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church has just stated today that all of its churches in the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv, will be open all day and night for continual prayer and for rest to all.


#11

I do not for a minute doubt Russia’s irridentist intent toward Ukraine. And certainly, there are Ukrainians who consider themselves Russians to the exclusion of a true Ukrainian identity. During the Soviet period, lots of ethnic Russians were moved into Ukraine, and perhaps to dilute the sense of separateness.

If Ukraine joins the EU, it would have a meaning somewhat different from the meaning it has to, say, Luxembourg. It would be one more step in “joining the west” and away from an identification with Russia. There is no way Russia will view that with equanimity.

Notwithstanding that there are legitimate complaints a country could make about the EU, for Ukraine it has more than economic significance, and the west should encourage its membership, in my view.


#12

[quote="Ridgerunner, post:11, topic:346815"]
I do not for a minute doubt Russia's irridentist intent toward Ukraine. And certainly, there are Ukrainians who consider themselves Russians to the exclusion of a true Ukrainian identity. During the Soviet period, lots of ethnic Russians were moved into Ukraine, and perhaps to dilute the sense of separateness.

If Ukraine joins the EU, it would have a meaning somewhat different from the meaning it has to, say, Luxembourg. It would be one more step in "joining the west" and away from an identification with Russia. There is no way Russia will view that with equanimity.

Notwithstanding that there are legitimate complaints a country could make about the EU, for Ukraine it has more than economic significance, and the west should encourage its membership, in my view.

[/quote]

Yes, that's exactly right. The protests in and of themselves are not anti-Russian (many of the protesters are Russian speakers) but pro-Ukrainian and pro-European. And what you say about the EU is true. Ukrainians are leaning West because the Western rule of law with respect to basics, such as it is, (independent judiciary, free press, right to assembly, punishment for corruption) would be a massive civilizational improvement for Ukraine from the Sovietized society it is under Yanukovych.

And it's true that Ukraine was depopulated of millions of ethnic Ukrainians during the Terror/Famine of 1932-33 when the borders of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic and the Kuban (ethnically Ukrainian but at the time in the Russian Soviet Republic),and the border of the Russian Soviet Republic were sealed to prevent starving people from Ukraine and Kuban in the Caucasus to get food in Russia on the direct order of Stalin. Whole villages were depopulated and colonists brought in thereafter. Ukraine's intelligentsia and church leaders were executed simultaneously. The 1926 Soviet Census showed there were 31 million Ukrainians in the Soviet Union. The 1936 Soviet Census, only recently declassified, showed only 26 million Ukrainians - a loss of five million (a quarter basically young children) while other more dominant ethnic groups grew by some 23% in the same period. One scholar called Ukraine a post-genocidal society. Cannibalism became a crime in Ukraine because the starving population basically lost its mind as it starved. Family members looking at other dead or dying family members for sustenance. The Red Army guarded the granaries.

As for today's protests, they were completely spontaneous and, as I mentioned earlier, started on their own by Ukraine's students who finally had enough of Ukraine's corrupt regime and the corrupt education system and are terribly worried about their future in Ukraine. The students did not allow any political party flags into Independence Square. On Friday night, after many of them were brutally beaten by Yanukovych's internal police, Ukrainian society, all its generations, were absolutely disgusted that young kids could be kicked and beaten lying on the ground by authorities meant to protect the population. The political opposition to Yanukovych joined the students and some in Yanukovych's political party are ready to jump ship.

Now there is real anger. It just bugs me when people like Putin state that this is all the work of some foreign agents or plot. He always seems to think that something that is not in agreement with his policies must be the work of the West or the CIA. Believe me, Obama, after his reset with Russia, is not going to start messing about in Ukraine apart from lodging statements from the State Department. There is no Western conspiracy and to believe such nonsense merely discounts the true crisis situation of Ukraine's population.


#13

Seamus - Be mindful that the 'RT' source of that article is notorious for rabbiting the 'voice of the Kremlin - much as Fox News tends to be the voice of American Right Wing politics.


#14

RT has provided a lot of videos of the protests, and quite frankly, from what I've seen, the police appear to be showing a lot of restraint with the protesters, some of whom are throwing bricks and spraying chemicals at them.

                                          Wouldn't it be wonderful if the Ukrainian people turned out like this to say Abortion Must End.  Really sad to see all those EU flags being carried by the protesters. I guess the message is, We don't want Moscow having any influence in our country, but it's ok if Brussels does.

#15

[quote="Mount_Carmel, post:13, topic:346815"]
Seamus - Be mindful that the 'RT' source of that article is notorious for rabbiting the 'voice of the Kremlin - much as Fox News tends to be the voice of American Right Wing politics.

[/quote]

Well, this is absolutely true. RT is Kremlin-controlled and it will never post an analysis critical of Vladimir Putin, but the West and Ukraine are free for hatchet jobs. The piece already starts off with a lie when it states most of those injured were police. I've seen the reports, in Ukrainian on Ukrainian stations, and this is not true but propaganda. Tens of injured students and even media.

MOD, if you are reading this can you unite the two threads on Ukraine?

Plus, I thought RT in some sticky was not to be linked to on CAF?


#16

Mod, can you unite this thread with the other on Ukraine?


#17

I posted the link to RT for the video footage which I think bears out my claim that the police are showing restraint, while the protesters are throwing bricks. Catch the guy swinging the long chain at police ? If you have links to video footage that shows police attacking peaceful protesters, by all means, post it.


#18

Seamus - It is always a possibility that the guy swinging the chain was an agent provocateur plant, much as happened in the 'cold war' days, the sort of folks we in the UK would refer to as 'Rent a Mob' people.


#19

I don’t see why Catholic leaders don’t support President Putin of Russia and his attempt to protect children from proselytisation by the LGBT community. Is it true that these Catholic leaders are endorsing membership in the EU which strongly supports the rights of the LGBT community? I am with President Putin and his policy to protect children against being subjected to miseducation and propaganda of the LBGT community.


#20

[quote="Mount_Carmel, post:18, topic:346815"]
Seamus - It is always a possibility that the guy swinging the chain was an agent provocateur plant, much as happened in the 'cold war' days, the sort of folks we in the UK would refer to as 'Rent a Mob' people.

[/quote]

Indeed, there is actually a video on the site of the Ukrainska Pravda newspaper in Ukrainian which shows the provocateur plants in the storming of a building. And there is a video also of bused in street thugs called "sportsmeny", bused in from President Yanukovych's home province, giving the figure to cameramen, getting drunk and then paid to "disperse" the peaceful protestors. Bus loads of them. Real young thugs who are emblematic of what is becoming of Ukraine's youth under Yanukovych. They beat up the protestors, get paid, and go back home. Yanukovych also used them during the elections.


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