Ukrainian crisis: January 17
The latest events from Ukraine.
LB.ua chronicles the latest events in Ukraine in English for foreign readers.
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8:14. Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin offered to expand the action of 'The Magnitsky Act' to the whole world. Before this the main intention of the law was to punish Russian officials who were thought to be responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky by prohibiting their entrance to the United States and use of their banking system.
8:28. The Party of Regions does not exclude that the scandalous laws adopted on January 16 will be amended when the Verkhovna Rada will work according to its regulations, said 'regional' Dmitry Svyatash.
8:41. Leader of the civil initiative 'Third Ukrainian republic', former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko today will be discharged from the hospital, where he's been staying for a week in intensive treatment after the night on January 11, when he took a hit on the head from 'Berkut' riot police.
9:25. International human rights organization Amnesty International has criticized the amendments to the law 'On the Judicial System and Status of Judges"'and the procedural laws regarding additional measures to protect the safety of citizens, made by the Verkhovna Rada on January 16.
'In the case of signing by President Viktor Yanukovich the law will destroy any manifestations of public unrest in Ukraine, will begin repressions and turn Ukraine into a dictatorship', says a press release of the organization.
9:44. A body of an unidentified men has been found in the House of Trade Unions, occupied by Euromaidan protesters on Kyiv's Independence Square. The corpse has no signs of a violent death.
10:24. The situation with the adoption of the budget, followed by constant provocations of the so-called opposition, oligarchic exigencies of confrontation in the struggle for the presidency demanded the Communist Party deputies to make quick decisions today, said the Communist Party leader Petr Simonenko.
10:46. The laws accepted by the Verkhivna Rada on January 16 conflict with the obligations under the Association Agreement with the European Union, twitted European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule.
10:58. Kyiv Pechersk district court dismissed the claim of the party 'Batkivshchyna' to the Main Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General on the return of property seized during the search of the office of the political party on December 9, 2013.
11:08. Former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko called for the establishment of a resistance movement 'People's Front of Independence' to storm the 'ruling gang'.
11:30. Deputies of the opposition parties 'Udar' and 'Batkivshchyna' Irina Gerashchenko and Elena Kondratenko filed an official request to Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka in connection with the use of force by security forces against journalists on January 10 under the building of Kyiv Sviatoshynsky court.
The document available to LB.ua edition featured three journalists - LB.ua photojournalist Max Levin, his counterpart Alexei Chernyshev from Tsenzor.NET and chief editor of the news agency 'Ryadom s vami' ('Next to you') Elena Belozerskaya.
'I was elected to Ukraine's parliament, not to the North Korean. Workin in the Verkhovna Rada, that with its laws violates basic constitutional rights of 45 million citizens, and instead of strengthening democracy and the rule of law turns the Ukrainian state into a dictatorship, - I can't', wrote Gritsenko in his Facebook.
11:45. According to the police data, a cause of death of the man whose body was found in the House of Trade Unions in Kyiv last night was the cardiac insufficiency.
11:58. Automaidan activists believe that the laws adopted yesterday by the Verkhovna Rada, if they come into force, will not prevent them from holding rallies, said Euromaidan activist Sergei Khadzhinov.
12:06. Kyiv's budget for 2014 will be much less than in 2013. General Fund used to finance the budget sphere, protected articles, and municipal allowances are paid, will make only 11 billion UAH (~1,3 billion) against last year's 16.1 billion UAH (~$2 billion).
12:30. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt believes that it's no longer possible to cooperate with Kyiv the way it was before, and says that the situation should be discussed at the upcoming meeting of the EU as early as Monday, January 20th.
12:56. Ukrainian human rights activists from influential organizations expressed their deep resentment with the scandalous law by 'Kolsnichenko-Oliynyk' adopted in the parliament by raising hands on January 16. They are convinced that in this way the Ukrainian authorities declared war to Ukrainian civil society.
The corresponding statement was signed by chairman of the Ukrainian Helsinki Union Nikolai Kozyrev, its executive director and director Arkady Bushchenko and head of Kharkov Human Rights Group Yevhen Zakharov.
13:00. 'Berkut' riot police employees beat and detained a participant of pilgrimage to Kolokolny well, located in Mezhigorie. where President Viktor Yanukovichs's private residence is situated.
According to preliminary reports, the man, local resident Petr Katsymon, was brutally beaten on the body (ribs) and was held in a bus of the security officials for some time.
13:18. The Verkhovna Rada is not going to cancel the results of the vote in the parliament on January 16, said Volodymyr Rybak, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada.
13:20. If the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich signs the laws approved in The Verkhovna yesterday, on January 16, this will lead to far more tough suppression of rights in Ukraine that, for example, in Russia.
Russian TV-chanel 'Dozhd' ('Rain') performed a comparative analysis of Ukrainian and Russian legislative initiatives taken a little earlier and considered rigid and undemocratic.
Thus, the criminal codes of both countries have article 'Libel'. But in Russia the maximum penalty on it is five million rubles or compulsory labour, while in Ukraine its up to 2 years of imprisonment.
Next article is criminalization of the riots. In Russia one may be imprisoned for ten years for their organization, whilst in Ukraine it's 15 years.
The violation of the procedure of holding a rally in Russia envisages a penalty of up to 20 thousand rubles, but in Ukraine you may be arrested for up to 10 days.
The maximum penalty for appeals to extremist activities and dissemination of extremist materials in Russia is 3 to 5 years, and in Ukraine it's only 3 years.
Yesterday Ukrainian lawmakers introduced a concept of a 'foreign agent', meaning a public organization receiving funding from abroad, which must register in a special register. In Russia once can be imprisoned for up to two years for violation of this law, whilst the punishment for such violations in Ukraine is not yet entirely clear.
Sergei Vlasenko has been accused of beating his ex-wife Natalia Okunskaya. Tymoshenko believed the case was politically motivated.