Ukrainian crisis: January 20
The latest events from Ukraine.
LB.ua chronicles the latest events in Ukraine in English for foreign readers.
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On Sunday, January 19, clashes broke out between Euromaidan protesters and police in the centre of Kyiv on Hrushevskoho Street, after radical protesters decided to break through the police cordon in the direction of the Government House and the Verkhovna Rada.
Police used stun and gas grenades, as well as tear gas. Protesters threw stones at the enforcers.
As of midnight, almost one hundred people - both protesters and police officers - were injured.
00:06. President Viktor Yanukovich has instructed head of National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Andriy Klyuyev to create a working group with representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Presidential Administration to address issues to settle the political crisis.
The President also instructed to hold a meeting of the working group with representatives of the opposition on Monday, January 20 2014.
00:31. Two Euromaidan activists were arrested on European Square in Kyiv around 19:00 pm, while the clashes between police and protesters continued on Hrushevskoho Street. They were taken to Dneprovsky district police station in Kyiv.
Earlier the Interior Ministry reported that four active participants in the events on Hrushevskoho Street were arrested and taken to one of Kyiv's police departments.
The United States also urged Ukrainian authorities to immediately start negotiations with all the parties to resolve the problem of political confrontation, consider the demands of the protesters and prevent the spread of violence.
01:02. Medical activists reported that a few hundred protesters were injured in the clashes on Hrushevskoho Street in Kyiv. According to Euromaidan SOS post in Facebook, about 70 percent of those injured suffered from gas and rubber bullets.
The exit from the base is blocked by about 50 vehicles and 100 activists of the civic movement 'Praviy sector' ('Right sector').
According to activists, Lvov internal forces are planning to go to Kyiv to participate in the clashes between demonstrators and police officers on Hrushevskoho Street.
49 law enforcement officers were hospitalized, added the Interior Ministry press service.
Earlier the police opened criminal proceedings on the fact of clashes on Hrushevskoho Street. Criminal proceeding were open under Art. 294 (rioting) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
'The sanction of Article provides a maximum punishment of imprisonment for up to 15 years', reminded the Interior Ministry.
01:54. Euromaidan protesters on Hrushevskoho Street made another attempt to attack the security forces cordon protecting the street on the side where the Verkhovna Rada building is situated.
The attempt failed and the protesters retreated. Police used water cannons against activists. Pressure is not very strong, but some water still gets to the protesters.
02:51. Former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko said that opposition leaders will be able to achieve compliance with the requirements of Euromaidan only if there are at least one hundred thousand people on Kyiv's Independence Square in the next three days.
03:24. Law enforcers detained about 10 people who allegedly were active participants in the events on Hrushevskoho Street on January 19, reported the press office of the Interior Ministry.
According to police, at the moment the law enforcement officers are trying to identity the detainees and begin investigations.
03:42. The opposition 'Batkivshchyna' faction lawmaker Andrew Parubiy was injured in the clashes on Hrushevskoho Street that have been lasting for the last 10 hours. According to Euromaidan activist Andrei Levus post in Facebook, Parubiy was wounded in one of the arms, and seven grenade fragments damaged his leg. It is reported that the deputy came to Hrushevskoho Street with Euromaidan self-defence units.
Two Spilno TV operator were injured while filming on European Square. Coordinator of internet broadcast channel Galina Sadomtsevu was wounded in the legs and face by shrapnel, and channel operator known under name of Ant was injured with a stun grenade.
Another employee of Spilno TV, Vladimir Karagyaur, was detained by police as a participant of the riots. He was taken to Dneprovsky district police station in Kyiv.
In addition, correspondent of the newspaper 'Vesti' Vyacheslav Veremei was wounded in the hand and in the eye.
All journalists were performing their editorial tasks, many of them were dressed in bright vests marked 'Press'.
04:55. The opposition 'Batkivshchyna' faction lawmaker Vladimir Yavorivskiy left the following text on his Facebook page around midnight:
'It is known that Washington imposed sanctions against Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko', wrote Yavorivskiy.
05:08. 'Berkut (riot police - ed.) caught two guys on Hrushevskoho Street, they were stripped, beaten, doused with water, allowed to run naked through the barricades to Euromaidan#', says a statement by the civic movement 'Praviy sector' ('Right sector') in one of the social networks.
Later it became known that the two guys were builders from Kirovograd. In the middle of the night they were pulled out from thr house in Museum Lane, which is situated near the hotbed of protests on Hrushevskoho Street.
05:28. Clashes on Hrushevskoho Street in the centre of Kyiv have lasted for more than 14 hours by now. Car VAZ-2110, which stood near the colonnade of Dynamo stadium, between protesters and security forces, was blown up. It is possible that the car belonged to one of the law enforcement officers.
Currently there is no active confrontation between protesters and police. Euromaidan demonstrators are gathering paving tiles in case security forces attack.
06:02. Four buses and six cars with internal troop were blocked by Lutsk Euromaidan at the entrance to Rovno, wrote public activist Maria Domanskaya in Facebook.
After a while all the vehicles with the internal troops turned back in the direction of Lutsk. Multiple cars of local Euromaidan activists followed them in order to monitor their return to the regional centre. About a hundred people remained at the entrance to Rovno.
06:45. Leader of the 'Third Republic' and former Interir Minister Yuriy Lutsenko in Facebook urged Ukrainians to put everything aside and join Euromaidan.
'Men, kiss your wives and children - and go to Independence (Square -ed.)!
Don't just come there. Come on cars, buses, tractors and trucks. This will help keep bloodsuckers and their fascist troops blockaded without unnecessary sacrifices of peaceful demonstrators.
Students - put aside books and computers! You'll proudly tell your children about these days!
Entrepreneurs, it's a revolution of the middle class against the gangsters', said his statement.
08:45. Veterans of the Polish trade union movement 'Solidarity', which 25 years ago led to the overthrow of the Communist regime in Poland, expressed their support for the protesters in Ukraine.
08:59. About 30 young people as of 8:45 am are throwing stones in the direction of law enforcement officers cordon on Hrushevskoho Street near Dynamo stadium. Law enforcement officers in 100 meters away from young people are protecting themselves with shields.
09:20. One of the organizers of AutoMaidan Dmitry Bulatov said head of the opposition 'UDAR' party Vitali Klitschko may be considered as a leader of the resistance against the government.
09:33. Police detained the crew of 'Radio Svoboda' ('Radio Liberty'), that was broadcasting events on Hrushevskoho Street.
09:58. Lawmaker Anatoly Gritsenko urged the opposition to refuse to start talks to resolve the crisis if Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council Andriy Klyuyev takes part in them.
10:08. According to the operative data of the Department of Health, as of 6:00 am 103 protesters have asked for medical help. 42 of them were hospitalized. Four people received minor injuries (trauma to the eye, limbs). Among other causes of hospitalization - injuries, bruises, lacerations, traumatic brain injuries.
10:10. Council of the European Union for Foreign Affairs will discuss the situation in Ukraine at a meeting on Monday, said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
10:44. One of the activists of the events on Hrushevskoho Street in Kyiv on January 19 told how he and a small group of 'humanists' rescued police officer from lynching by some aggressive-minded people.
'At some point they, 10-15 people (police - ed.) came via a porch of a boutique on Hrushevskoho Street. Probably hoping that people will be frightened and run as on the 1st of December. People did the opposite. While others escaped, one didn't. He was nearly carried away for souvenirs. He could neither stand up nor walk (he regained consciousness a bit closer to Independence Square', wrote Konstantin Reutskiy in Facebook.
'About 100 law enforcement officers sought medical help. 61 of them were hospitalized. They were diagnosed closed head injuries, fractures, injuries and poisoning with unknown substances' - says a statement by the Interior Ministry.
11:02. The Ukrainian Authorities have agreed not to publish the laws adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on January 16. Their publication in the official gazette is required for their entry into force. 11:10. About 65 buses 'Bogdan' with the soldiers of 'Berkut' riot police and 20 military vehicles are located near the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
About 50 'Berkut' fighters are currently on duty just outside the parliament building. Nearly the same quantiy of security officials are warming themselves by the fire in Mariinsky Park.
Another 20 buses and 10 military vehicles are standing near the Verkhovna Rada.
In addition 'Berkut' buses have concentrated in a courtyard of Ukrainian House on European Square. At the moment there are seven 'Berkut' buses there.
At the same time so-called about 200 'titushki' (sporty looking guys in black clothes who participate in AntiMaidan activities) are gathering near Arsenalna metro station.
11:20. LB.ua photojournalist Max Levin stumbled upon and was brutally beaten by a group of 'titushki' in the centre of Kyiv at around 5:30 am.
11:22. Secretary of the National Security and Defense Andriy Klyuyev, Justice Minister Olena Lukash and adviser to the president of Ukraine Andriy Portnov will be a part of the group to resolve the situation in Ukraine, said the ruling Party of Regions lawmaker Anna Herman to 'Interfax'.
11:52. About 300 Euromaidan activists are going to picket the EU Delegation on Vladimirska Street in Kyiv. They will demand the EU to impose sanctions against the Ukrainian government. l
11:55. The opposition 'Batkivshchyna' faction decided did not send the head of the faction Arseniy Yatsenyuk to negotiations with the authorities, said a member of this party Andrey Pawlowski.
12:05. The opposition party 'UDAR' leader Vitali Klitschko said that President Viktor Yanukovich should personally participate in the negotiations on resolving the situation.
12:22. Euromaidan commandants began arming the protesters with sticks with metal tips that are cold arms, said the press service of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine.
12:33. Police deliberately shot in people's heads during confrontations on Hrushevskoho Streetat night , said the opposition party 'UDAR' deputy in Kyiv City Council Alexei Davydenko.
'This is evidenced by the injuries of the people brought to Kyiv's hospitals. Vast majority of injuries are in the neck, and head. As of this morning ENT and ophthalmology departments at Alexander Hospital in Kyiv received more than 20 injured, 17 of them - with injuries to the eye. The eye or even the eyes of four people were removed. This shows that the police not only violated the law, but deliberately shot in the head and face', said Alexei Davydenko.
12:40. Journalists using a camera found a man who looks like a sniper on a roof of one of the houses on Hrushevskoho Street, where the clashes between radical opposition young people and the police continues for a second day.
12:47. Unidentified men threw a bottle with a flammable liquid through in a window of Pechersk district court in Kyiv on Monday morning. Nobody was injured.
12:55. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich won't be a part of the working group to resolve the situation in the country, said the ruling Party of Regions lawmaker Anna Herman.
13:08. The Interior Ministry confirmed the detention of the employee of 'Radio Svoboda' ('Radio Liberty').
'There were some of the most active citizens, who were throwing prohibited items into police. They were detained. Indeed, one of them was an employee of 'Radio Svoboda', but he had no distinguishing marks, showing that he is a representative of media. Also, he did not introduce himself at the moment of detention and only when establishing identity it was revealed that he was a representative of 'Radio Liberty', said the press service of the Interior Ministry to 'Interfax' on Monday.
13:17. The Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union urged Ukraine to find a democratic way out of this political crisis, spokesman of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, Maya Kosyanchich wrote in her Twitter.
13:29. The ruling Party of Regions blamed leaders of the parliamentary opposition for the clashes between Euromaidan demonstrators and police officers on Hrushevskoho Street in Kyiv, says a statement released by the press service of the party on Monday.
13:55. Of the 42 hospitalized, who were injured in the clashes on Hrushevskoho street in Kyiv this nught, four are in serious condition. Medics removed the eyeballs of the three victims, another victim's hand was amputated.
13:55. Institute of Mass Media published a list of journalists who were injured during the events on Hrushevskoho Street in Kyiv on January 19-20. Currently we know about the 12 victims.
14:01. Two months of unsuccessful tramping under the leadership of the opposition parties proved many demonstrators that they don't need to follow those who sweetly speak from the scene, but follow those who offer real scenario of revolutionary changes in the country. So the protesters followed nationalists, says a statement issued by the civic movement 'Praviy sector' ('Right sector').
The statement also says that 'only a manifestation of protest that Ukrainian people demonstrated on January 19 made gangster Yanukovich regime to start talking about the need for negotiations.
14:36. Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski is following the situation in Ukraine, but haven't yet discussed it with the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich.
14:46. On Monday, January 20, Sanitary-Epidemiological Service surveyed the room of convicted former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in the Central Clinical Hospital of the Ukrainian Railways and found that all electromagnetic indicators in her ward are within normal limits.
The corresponding decree dated October 24, 2013 was registered by the Ministry of Justice on January 11, 2014.
Under this provision, the responsibilities of 'Berkut', in addition to ensuring public order, also include detection and suppression of civil and criminal offenсes.
Thus, 'Berkut' riot police can take part in the quarantine measures during epidemics, helping to overcome the aftermath of accidents, fires, natural disasters.
'Berkut' can maintain law and order during the events of a commercial nature', but only at the expense of organizations or individuals who conduct them.
Also 'Berkut' employees are allowed to temporarily restrict or prohibit public access to particular areas of land or facilities to ensure public order, public security, the protection of life and health.
At the same time, under the provision 'Berkut' riot police is prohibited to ensure the investigative actions and the use of special equipment concealing appearance (face masks, helmets, etc.) in their conduct, except in exceptional cases during the investigative procedure in criminal proceedings for serious or very serious crime.
Also, according to the approved provision 'Berkut' obeys Chief of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the region of the dislocation, and in his absence - to his deputy or a person responsible for the activities of departments of public security police.
When performing tasks outside the region of permanent deployment, 'Berkut' passes into the operational control of the relevant head of the local Interior Ministry.
Employees of the riot police unit are entitled to use physical force, including unarmed combat techniques, special means and firearms in order to fulfill their tasks.
Special unit is headed by a commander, who is appointed and dismissed by order of the Interior Ministry in consultation with the Chief of the Public Security Department of Internal Affairs.
The 'Berkut' unit commander is obliged to carry out the selection, recruitment and placement of personnel, training staff to monitor the safety of weapons and the necessary safety measures when dealing with service weapons.
In addition the commander of 'Berkut' must shall at least once a year inspect the suitability of personnel for service in the subdivision.
15:25. Police officers have approached the barricade set by Euromaidan activists on Hrushevskoho Street. Prior to that they were standing for a couple of hours in 50 meters from the barricade, defending themselves with shields. Also, they periodically threw back stones and Molotov cocktails at the protesters.
15:37. Police released cameraman Igor Iskhakov, one of the journalists of 'Radio Svoboda' ('Radio Liberty') detained this morning after broadcasting events on Hrushevskoho Street.
'His face was covered with bruises, his clothes - in blood, it seems, he has a broken nose and suspected concussion', wrote 'Radio Liberty' employee Sofia Sereda in Facebook.
According to her, another detained journalist, Dmitry Barkar, is in the same police department, and he'll live it in 15 minutes.
15:40. Under article 12 of the Law of Ukraine 'On Police', law enforcement officers had the right to use firearms during the riots on January 19-20 on Hrushevskoho Street in Kyiv, said head of Department of mass and sports events of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine Oleg Matveytsov.
15:46. The opposition 'Batkivshchyna' faction lawmaker Andrei Pawlowski wrote in Facebook that, despite the promises of President Viktor Yanukovich, the authorities compel the newspaper 'Voice of Ukraine' to publish January 16 the laws adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on January 16. Their publication in the official gazette is required for their entry into force.
15:57. The opposition 'Batkivshchyna' faction lawmaker Aleksander Turchynov will represent the fraction in negotiations with the government to resolve the crisis in the country.
16:32. The European Council called on the Ukrainian authorities to cancel the laws adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on January 16 and also confirmed the willingness to sign the Association Agreement, says the EU Council published on Monday, January 20.
16:41. The National Art Museum of Ukraine demanded the authorities and the opposition to refrain from any actions that could threaten the museum building. The museum issued this statement because of the clashes between Euromaidan activists and police officers, which began on January 19 on Hrushevskoho Street (not far from the place where it's located) and continue till now.
There are several thousand activists there at the moment, mainly male. Most of them are wearing riot gear - masks, their faces are covered, they are armed with sticks. Now they mostly move randomly around the perimeter. However, the group that is closest to the law enforcement officers continues throwing stones and firebombs.
The security forces are also arriving to the epicentre of the events. Still, there is no activity among the riot police. They continue blocking Hrushevskoho Street, lined up in three or four rows.
16:47. Lvov's hospital's are ready to accept injured in clashes in Kyiv, wrote Lvov Mayor Andrey Sadoviy in Facebook.
On January 16 the Verkhovna Rada approved the law banning 'illegal collection, storage, use, destruction, dissemination of confidential information about judges, their close relatives or family members, distribution of materials or information that is clearly offensive and demonstrates defiant disregard for judges or justice, pressure, intimidation or interference any form in the activities of judges committed for the purpose of revenge, preventing judges from performing their official duties in order to obtain a miscarriage of justice, or public calls or distributing materials inciting such acts'.
Such actions will be punished by a fine or by corrective labour or imprisonment for up to six months, or imprisonment for a term up to two years.
17:09. Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka called radical demonstrators' and law enforcement officers' presence in Kyiv a crime against the state. He also appealed to the leaders of the opposition to 'revoke their supporters from Hrushevskoho Street and explain them the impermissibility of the riots'.
17:11. Whilst the clashes continue on Hrushevskoho Street, President Viktor Yanukovich has appointed 48-year-old Alexander Taran a new head of the State Agency for Energy Efficiency and Conservation instead of the retired Nikolai Pashkevich. Yanukovich's decree on appointing Taran was signed on Monday.
17:18. 'Radio Svoboda' ('Radio Liberty') declared the release of its second detained journalist, Dmitry Barkar, from Darnytsia district police station in Kiev. At the moment he's talking to lawmakers Nikolai Knyazhytskyy, Irina Gerashchenko and Oksana Prodan. Two journalists of 'Radio Svoboda' were detained this morning after broadcasting events on Hrushevskoho Street.
17:34. Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has expressed support for the protesters on Hrushevskoho Street in Kyiv and urged the current government to resign.
'I appeal to the ruling Mafia, which seized power in Ukraine and plunged it into its dark criminal reality. Do you hear? Don't you dare call the people who came out on Hrushevskoho Street on January 19 criminals! You, Mafia in power, brought people to the limit, you pulled out a saving ticket to Europe from their hands, and now you label them provocateurs?! And now to stop the people you must immediately and voluntarily go into oblivion. The people demand you to disappear from their life and I fully support them', said Tymoshenko.
17:50. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said the EU foreign ministers are not going to impose sanctions against the Ukrainian government because of the worsening situation in the country.
17:55. This morning the police detained seven students of the National University of theatre, cinema and television of Karpenko-Kary near Kontraktowa Square, when they were returning from Euromaidan. In addition, the university graduate Andrei Ivaniuk was arrested.
According to a Facebook post by user Babylon, the detained students have been out of range for the last six hours, although all Kyiv police departments argued that they have no such detainees. Subsequently one of the guys send a text-message saying they are in Dniprovsky district department. They have been stripped because their clothing is supposedly needed for examination.
'They need legal and moral assistance', - says the Facebook post.
18:00. All-Ukrainian Union 'Svoboda' finds it impossible to conduct negotiations with the authorities if they do not abolish the laws toughening responsibility for violations during the mass demonstrations, adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on January 16.
18:16. The ruling Party of Regions faction in the Lugansk regional council appealed to the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich with a request to take strict measures in order to restore order in the country, up to the introduction of state of emergency in Kyiv.
They are lawmakers Alexander Turchinov ('All-Ukrainian Union' 'Batkivshchyna'), Ruslan Koshulinsky ('All-Ukrainian Union 'Freedom), Vitaliy Kovalchuk ('UDAR') and former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko.
'I'd like to notice that I will make every effort to ensure public order, protect the rights of civilians and will use all legal and other methods provided by the laws of Ukraine to ensure public safety and security of all our compatriots', said Yanukovich.
He also urged Kyivites not to follow those who call for violence and who seek to provoke a split between state and society.
19:01. The Communist Party leader Petr Simonenko said that clashes in Kyiv is a natural result of the struggle between two clans. He also said that there is a possibility that the riots will begin outside the capital.
19:14. The opposition and the civic movement 'Praviy sector' ('Right sector') are ready to provide internal troops, armed forces and 'Berkut' riot police security with the guarantees of their safety in exchange for their refusal to defend the authorities. The corresponding statement has been published by journalist and public figure Matvey Nikitin in Facebook.
19:27. Polish President Broneslav Komorowski will convene a National Security Council session on January 22 to discuss strategic issues of Polish and European relations with Ukraine.
19:42. The newspaper 'Voice of Ukraine' published laws adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in a dubious way. Deputies from the opposition 'Svoboda' faction will try to delay the circulation. The publication of the laws in the official gazette is required for their entry into force.
20:52. 'Radio Liberty' journalists have submitted applications to the police upon bodily harm to them and obstruction to their professional activity on the part of 'Berkut' riot police employees on Hrushevskoho Street in Kyiv.
20:59. Negotiations to resolve the political crisis in Ukraine has already begun, said the ruling Party of Regions deputy Anna Herman.
21:19. The opposition 'Svoboda' party stopped the blockade of the typography of the newspaper 'Voice of Ukraine', which published the scandalous laws adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on January 16.
"Svoboda' lawmaker Igor Miroshnichenko said the laws published in 'Voice of Ukraine' have no legal force and after this words Euromaidan activists have started burning the issue of the newspaper that the opposition deputies brought from the typography.