The latest breaking news from Ukraine in English

​Ukrainian crisis: January 21

The latest events from Ukraine.

​Ukrainian crisis: January 21
Hrushevskoho Street, Kyiv
Фото: стоп-кадр видеотрансляции

LB.ua chronicles the latest events in Ukraine in English for foreign readers.

Read previous articles on the topic:

Ukrainian crisis: January 17

Ukrainian crisis: January 20

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.

Unrest on Hrushevskoho Street continues for the third day.

00:05. Representatives of the Ukrainian opposition held a meeting with the government negotiators on the issue of resolving the political crisis and passed them the requirement for direct talks with President Viktor Yanukovich.

'We passed a group representing government requirements of the Maidan to the President and noted the need for an urgent meeting of the opposition leaders with Yanukovych for real steps in solving the acute crisis in the country', said 'UDAR' deputy Vitaly Kovalchuk.

'Negotiations can take place only at the level of President Viktor Yanukovich and the opposition', said 'Batkivshchyna' leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

00:28. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated that the Ukrainian government expects the international community to condemn the radical actions that provoke police clashes and endanger the lives and health of the citizens.

00:46. Tomorrow the opposition party 'UDAR' leader Vitali Klitschko will hold another meeting with President Viktor Yanukovich to discuss the current situation.

He also added that 'Berkut' riot police fighters are going to disperse a protest on Hrushevskoho street this or the next night.

01:12. There were about 3000 Euromaidan activists on Hrushevskoho Street as of 00.30 am. Confrontation with the law enforcement officers continues.

01:29. According to Euromaidan page in Twitter, the protesters on Hrushevskoho Street are receiving SMS-warnings

'Dear subscriber, you are registered as a member of riots', says a text message.

'They identify the numbers that are in the area of events. It's not a big secret that you can calculate the number during any event in a particular city', wrote Euromaidan community member Giperfox @ Giperfox.

01:42. The Verkhovna Rada newspaper 'Voice of Ukraine' published the scandalous laws adopted by the Parliament on January 16 in its digital version. These laws become applicable upon publication.

02:22. Euromaidan activists used a catapult against the police cordon on Hrushevskoho Street.

About 50 activists, covered with shields, pulled the catapult to the burned buses and made a volley with firebombs at the law enforcement officers. As a result, the cordon of internal troops was forced to move by about 50 meters up the street.

02:33. Students of the National Police Academy in Kyiv have been used to block the government quarter in the city centre. They rest in the basement of the Government House and serve as a human shield between the protesters and 'Berkut' riot police employees on Hrushevskoho street, said father of one of those cadets on condition of anonymity.

02:43. Clashes between Euromaidan activists and police officers on Hrushevskoho Street has renewed. Law enforcers periodically approach the barricades set by the opposition activists and then retreat.

'Berkut'' riot police fired shotguns in the direction of the barricades', says Euromaidan page in Twitter. The security forces have also been noted throwing Molotov cocktails, stones, stun grenades and stones at the protesters. https://twitter.com/Dbnmjr

02:58. Around 2:50 am 'Berkut' riot police fighters stormed the opposition barricades on Hrushevskoho Street. The police pushed the protesters back from the burnt buses and destroyed the wooden catapult. Then 'Berkut' employees slowly moved towards European Square through the barricades. Law enforcers deprived the protesters of a hiding they used to throw firebombs.

In about five minutes radical protesters and pushed 'Berkut' fighters back to their former position behind the barricades. Both sides were throwing Molotov cocktails and police was firing rubber bullets.

04:08. Several hundred so-called 'titushki' (sporty looking guys in black clothes who participate in AntiMaidan activities) are walking along Podol, near the Golden Gate and St. Michael's Square in Kyiv. Eyewitnesses report that these young are walking around the city centre in groups and holding sticks.

06:36. Civic activist Igor Lutsenko and injured activist Yuri Verbitsky, whom Igor brought to Alexandrovsky hospital in Kyiv, have been allegedly kidnapped.

The last time Igor Lutsenko got in touch was around 04:00 am, when he send a text-message: 'Please drive up here, there are men in civilian clothes walking around, showing attention. Drive up and check whether someone is waiting outside'.

Igor Lutsenko's car is staying near the hospital building.

Kyiv police departments said they hadn't detained Lutsenko.

According to Euromaidan Facebook page, One of the doctors at Alexandrovsky hospital said that five people in black coats and hats burst into the room and grabbed Igor Lutsenko and Yuri Verbitsky and drove away with them in an unknown direction.

06:43. Euromaidan activists have detained about 20 'titushki' near Arsenalna metro station, when they were trying to smash Silpo shop.

07:25. There where no major clashes on Hrushevskoho Street near Dynamo Stadium this night, reported LB.ua correspondent.

07:33. Automaidan activists caught and took ten 'titushki' (AntiMaidan activists) to the House of Trade Unions, where they were questioned. 'Titushki' where caught when they smashed car glasses, storefronts and started clashes with the opposition activists. Two of them tried to attack the opposition party 'UDAR' leader Vitali Klitschko. In the end, they told him that their task was to organize riots in Kiev.

'titushki' telling what they were doing

08:16. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared the necessity to refrain from escalating violence in Ukraine and urged the conflicting political forces to negotiate.

08:26. 'UDAR' leader Vitali Klitschko calls on all Kyivites to be vigilant, not to succumb to provocations in the streets and create squads that will control the law and order in the capital.

08:37. Four priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) suspended clashes between protesters and police on Hrushevskogo Street. They started reading prayers while staying between the opposing sides calling to end the conflict.

08:55. Police handed message of suspicion to 13 men arrested on Hrushevskoho Street. According to the press service of the Interior Ministry the investigation is trying to establish their role in a criminal offence under Art. 294 of the Criminal Code - the riots.

09:23. Euromaidan activists use an opportunity of suspension of the clashes with the police to set barricades made of some improvised means (benches, car tires, pieces of fences, metal shields, barrels, garbage cans). In addition, the protesters strengthen existing barricade near the entrance to Dynamo Stadium. Part of the protesters continues beating on the barrels and metal sheets with sticks.

09:35. Russian State Duma intends to adopt a new January 22 statement on Ukraine due to the worsening situation in the country.

10:07. The opposition party 'UDAR' leader Vitali Klitschko is planning a visit to President Viktor Yanukovich for negotiations.

10:17. Supporters of the ruling Party of Regions are gathering once again in Mariinsky park.

10:34. Ukrainian section of the online encyclopedia 'Wikipedia', starting from January 21, will stop its work from 16:00 to 16:30 in protest against the controversial law passed by the Verkhovna Rada on January 16, which criminalizes libel and introduces online censorship.

10:47. Chairman of the opposition faction 'Batkivshchyna' Arseniy Yatsenyuk urges Attorney General Victor Pshonka and chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Alexander Yakymenko urgently investigate the disappearance of a public activist Igor Lutsenko.

Civic activist Igor Lutsenko and injured activist Yuri Verbitsky, whom Igor brought to Alexandrovsky hospital in Kyiv, where kidnapped by unidentified men this morning.

10:50. Mobile operators deny involvement in sending SMS-messages to the opposition protesters on Hrushevskogo Street.

According to Euromaidan page in Twitter, early in the morning the protesters on Hrushevskoho Street were receiving SMS-warnings.

'Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant of riots', said a text message.

11:02. Former Ukrainian Interior Minister and head of the public organization 'Ukrainian Third Republic' Yuriy Lutsenko said that negotiations with the government has not yet taken place, but the Maidan demands had been passed to President Viktor Yanukovich.

11:24. Euromaidan activists are holding a rally under Podolsky district isolator where seven students of the National University of theatre, cinema and television of Karpenko-Kary have been held since yesterday.

11:43. 'Moscow is ready to mediate between the opposing parties in Ukraine, only if it is asked to do so, but there hasn't been such a request yet', stated Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a news conference in Moscow.

12:19. Kyiv city administration has estimated losses from damage caused by Euromaidan participants as of 14 million UAH ($1,68 million), said acting Head of Kyiv City State Administration Anatoliy Holubchenko, referring to preliminary calculations.

12:30. According to the official website of the Interior Ministry, 119 law enforcement officers have asked for medical care after clashes on Hrushevskoho Street.

'Berkut' on Hrushevskoho Street

12:39. Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate, Patriarch Filaret cancelled celebration of his 85th anniversary on January 23 in connection with the events taking place on Hrushevskoho Street in the centre of Kyiv.

12:44. Ukrainian Stock Exchange index fell 3% to 895 points on January 20. Thus the stock market reacted to increased confrontation between protesters and authorities in the centre of the capital.

13:09. The state budget for 2014 is unrealistic to perform neither in the income or the expenditure part, said former Finance Minister Ihor Umansky in an interview to LB.ua.

'If this was the first year, it could such inconsistencies could be random. For the second time it could be, perhaps, because of the incompetence or inadequate macroeconomic forecast. But when it happens for the third year in a row, it becomes obvious that this is a deliberate policy of the government', said Umansky.

He thinks this means that the country will need to borrow huge sums again, otherwise the last year's problems will repeat.

13:09. The opposition party 'UDAR' leader Vitali Klitschko headed to Bankova Street, where the administration of President Viktor Yanukovich is situated.

Before that Klitschko visited Hrushevskoho Street and talked to the commanders of 'Berkut' riot police fighters and the Internal Troops.

Klitschko hopes to get answers to the five requirements of the opposition.

13:17. According to Espreso.TV sources in the ruling Party of Regions, The Verkhovna Rada may vote for a state of emergency on Thursday, January 30.

13:26. The opposition announced that activists will start picketing the General Prosecutor's Office and the Interior Ministry if the authorities don't release public figure and activist Igor Lutsenko, abducted early in the morning on January 21, till 15:00 pm.

13:46. Vladimir Oleynik, one of the authors of the infamous law on criminal liability for libel and extremism, confirmed that he didn't count hands of the deputies during a vote in Parliament on January 16.

According to Oleynik, the Counting Commission of the Verkhovna Rada, which established the voting results for the laws, included representatives of the Party of Regions and the Communist Party, and the opposition refused to participate in the work of the commission.

13:49. Ukraine is becoming the authoritarian state without having a sufficient budget for this, said former Finance Minister Ihor Umansky in an interview to LB.ua.

'Ukraine is becoming the authoritarian country where there is no democracy, freedom of speech and personality. Two factors can provide stability of the authoritarianism: stick and carrot. But you have to pat for the 'carrot'. Main mass may be gagged with comfortable stable salaries and pensions, and the rest, as they say, 'can be pushed over Mozhaev'. But Ukraine is not Russia, we don't have sufficient financial resources for this purpose', said Umansky.

14:16. 'Nine years after the so-called 'Orange Revolution' against the election fraud, enemies of the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich hope to repeat the same scenario. However, this time the main question is: whom with Kyiv will sign the economic agreement, with Europe or Russia - it has nothing do to with the America, so Obama's administration should not interfere in what is happening', wrote senior researcher at the Cato Institute, former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan Doug Bandow in article 'Orange Revolution returns to Ukraine? U.S. should stay away from this fight' for Forbes.

14:40. About 1400 protesters have been injured in clashes with security forces on Hrushevskoho Street in recent days, said the coordinator of Euromaidan medical services Oleg Musiy at a press conference at the headquarters of the opposition.

He added that currently there are six medical centred delpoyed on Independence Square, but people mostly address a medical centre located near the barricade on Hrushevskoho Street.

14:40. According to the press service of the President, at the moment the Presidential Administration hosts a meeting of the working group on resolving the political crisis.

Andriy Klyuyev, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, is a chairman at the meeting.

Leader of the political party 'UDAR' Vitali Klitschko has also joined the participants of the meeting.

The press service also noted that Viktor Yanukovich, 'in accordance with the working schedule', is on a planned meeting with Prime Minister Nykolai Azarov and First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Arbuzov on socio-economic development of Ukraine in 2014.

14:59. Ultras of the FC 'Dynamo' (Kiev) decided to patrol the streets of Kiev defending them from athletes hired by the authorities to intimidate the demonstrators, says a message to all members of their group in the social network 'Vkontakte'.

15:05. Chairman of the opposition faction 'Batkivshchyna' Arseniy Yatsenyuk addressed Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka with the requirement to clarify the situation with the disappearance of more than 100 Euromaidan activists during the events on Hrushevskoho Street.

15:10. News of the Presidential Administration that the opposition 'UDAR' faction leader Vitali Klitschko came to the meeting of the working group on resolving the situation does not correspond to reality, said Klitchko according to the press service of the party.

15:21. Graduate of the of the National University of theatre, cinema and television of Karpenko-Kary Andrew Ivaniuk, detained by police along with the other six students of this university for their support to Euromaidan, announced a hunger strike in the temporary detention facility.

The group of detained students has been accused of organizing riots, production of gear (body armour, protective shields, helmets), attempts of committing violence against police officers, causing moderate and severe injuries to law enforcers during the detention.

15:34. Ukrainian Association of gun owners sent an open letter to Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko calling to 'exclude the use of firearms against the citizens of Ukraine'.

The reason for the letter was the registration by the Ministry of Justice of the law that allows 'Berkut' riot police use firearms against the protesters.

15:47. 163 police officers has been injured during clashes on Hrushevskoho Street in Kyiv since January 19.

15:59. 50 active participants of the events on Hrushevskoho Street have been arrested, 26 of them were arrested procedurally, stated Deputy Chief of Investigations Department of the Interior Ministry Oleg Tatars, who came out to students picketing the General Prosecutor's Office and the Interior Ministry because of the arrest of a group of students of the National University of theatre, cinema and television of Karpenko-Kary.

16:03. Prime Minister Nykolai Azarov claims that the domestic industry has increased production after the Moscow agreements between the President of Ukraine Voktor Yanukovich and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

16:25. Police opened criminal proceedings on the fact of blocking base of the Interior Ministry troops in Odessa.

'Actions of the offenders prevented the servicemen from performing their daily tasks to ensure the protection of public order and consular missions', said a statement published by the Interior Ministry press service in Odessa Region.

16:25. Police opened criminal proceedings on the fact of blocking base of the Interior Ministry troops in Odessa.

'Actions of the offenders prevented the servicemen from performing their daily tasks to ensure the protection of public order and consular missions', said a statement published by the Interior Ministry press service in Odessa Region.

16:38. Deputies of Luhansk Regional Council at the plenary meeting on January 21 issued a statement 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.

16:56. Governor of Kharkov region Mikhail Dobkin will prepare a bill on ban All-Ukrainian Union 'Svoboda' in Ukraine.

16:59. Chairman of the opposition 'Batkivshchyna' faction Arseniy Yatsenyuk insists on an immediate meeting of the leaders of the three opposition factions ('Batkivshchyna', 'Svoboda' and 'UDAR') with President Viktor Yanukovich.

17:00. Every day politicians lose leverages to influence on the situation in Ukraine, said a board member of the 'Republic' Institute, co-organizer of the action 'Ukraine without Kuchma' Vladimir Chemeris in a comment to the Gorshenin Institute.

According to him, almost nothing in the country depends on the opposition.

'There's now a struggle between the candidate with the highest rating and those who are jealous of him. And this fight is completely on the surface', said the expert.

At the same time, he noted that the situation in Ukrane's political arena still can be resolved by the authorities, but it's difficult to predict whether there is enough political will for this.

17:06. Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Andriy Klyuyev excludes the imposition of the the state of emergency in Ukraine.

17:13. Presidential adviser Andrei Portnov says the opposition and caertain 'foreign structures' are to be considered responsible for clashes on Hrushevskoho street.

'We appreciated a lot Yatsenyuk's and Tyagnibok's statements in which they called on the protesters to refrain from participating in street protests, but Yatsenyuk and Tyahnibok themselves disavowed their statements. Therefore, we believe that representatives of the opposition forces bear the responsibility for the ongoing events. And part of the responsibility is on representatives of foreign structures that support the protesters', said Portnov at a press briefing.

17:30. The opposition party 'Udar' leader Vitali Klitschko says a statement of NSDC Secretary Andriy Klyuyev on his exit from the negotiating process is strange.

'How can you get out of something you've never participated in? We noted yesterday that negotiations should take place only with Yanukovich. And he persists and avoids responsibility by putting them on the so-called working group', said Klitschko.

17:33. FC Dynamo president Ihor Surkis says doesn't support the protesters, who 'decorated' the monument to Valery Lobanovsky.

'I believe that the attitude to the monument to Valery Lobanovsky is a complete mess. We specifically put a monument outside the stadium, so people can see it, put flowers. People have no right to treat him this way. Who will pay? Need to wait for the completion of these events'.

17:59. Police denies the detention of the missing public activist Igor Lutsenko. According to 'Batkivshchyna' chairman Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Igor Lutsenko has been kidnapped by The Security Service of Ukraine.

18:13. Escalation of the conflict in Ukraine was deliberately started by adopting the 'dictatorial' laws because of a pro-Russian lobby in the Ukrainian government, said deputy director of the the Ukrainian Centre for Economic and Political Studies named after Olexander Razumkov, Valeriy Chaly in a comment to the Gorshenin Institute.

18:18. State employees in Donetsk are forced to go to a meeting on January 22 to mark the Day of catholicity according to the 'invitation' of the Voroshilov district council of Donetsk, issued on Euromaidan page in 'Facebook'.

18:31. Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) urged the parties of the conflict to stop violence and start negotiations.

18:43. About 200 sporty looking young are on guard in Mariinsky Park in Kyiv in army tents behind police cordon. There at least ten tents there.

19:03. Fozzy Group, company owner of 'Silpo' stores released video from surveillance cameras with 'titushki' hiding from Euromaidan activists.

part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4

19:22. The United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay calls on the Ukrainian authorities to stop the introduction of the scandalous laws that impose severe restrictions on anti-government protesters' speeches.

19:34. Prime Minister Nykolai Azarov said that only three western regions of Ukraine - Ivano-Frankivsk, Lvov, Ternopol - support anti-government protests.

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