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On January 16 the Verkhovna Rada adopted more than a dozen of controversial amendments to a law 'On the Judicial System and Status of Judges' and the procedural laws regarding additional measures to protect the safety of citizens. Most opposition politicians, international organizations and European countries consider these laws a violation of basic constitutional rights of 45 million citizens of Ukraine.
On Sunday, January 19, clashes broke out between Euromaidan protesters and police on Hrushevskoho Street in the centre of Kyiv, after radical protesters decided to break through the police cordon in the direction of the Government House and the Verkhovna Rada.
At least six people have been killed in the past two weeks in unprecedented politically-linked violence in Kyiv.
Now opposition leaders - Arseniy Yatsenyuk ('Batkivshchyna'), Vitali Klitschko ('UDAR') and Oleg Tyagnibok ('Svoboda') - are trying to put an end to the political crisis in Ukraine and bloodshed on Hrushevskoho Street and all over Ukraine.
On January 24 Euromaidan supporters started seizing buildings of regional state administration all over Ukraine. Some attempts were successful.
On January 25 President Viktor Yanukovich offered the opposition several top government posts. Thus, Yanukovich offered Arseny Yatseniyuk the post of prime minister to replace Nykolai Azarov, whose government would be expected to resign. Vitali Klitschko, a former international boxing champion, would be appointed deputy prime minister responsible for humanitarian issues. But opposition leaders, supported by thousands of protesters massing in Kyiv's city centre, continued to press for further concessions, including early elections and the repeal of an anti-protest law.
At the same time, Ukraine's Interior Minister Vitaliy Zaharchenko had said that all those who occupied public buildings and stayed on Kyiv's Independence Square would be considered to be 'extremist groups' by police. According to him, police would use force against those who went over to the side of the radical protesters, who have clashed with police in front of the football stadium since last Sunday.
On January 28 Ukrainian Prime Minister Nykolai Azarov resigned, and a series of sweeping anti-protest laws, adopted hastily in response to increasingly violent clashes between protesters and police, were abolished by parliament.
On January 29 the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, approved a law that would grant an amnesty to arrested protesters, but depended on the demonstrators vacating all occupied government buildings. After 12 hours of negotiations the amnesty was agreed by 232 votes from the Regions Party members and the Communist Party amid applause from the 'regionals' and angry shouts 'Shame!' from the opposition.
It's expected that now, after the visit of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to Ukraine, when she met with President Viktor Yanukovich and leaders of the opposition, the EU will consider sanctions against Ukraine. In the mean time, former Ukrainian Interior Minister and head of the public organization 'Ukrainian Third Republic' Yuriy Lutsenko said there is no point in negotiating between the opposition and President Viktor Yanukovich, and called on the Ukrainians to join the ranks of Euromaidan self-defence units.
Individual MP Pyotr Poroshenko, in his turn, announced the establishment of an international commission to investigate crimes of the Ukrainian authorities against Euromaidan protesters. According to him, the investigative commission will be created on Wednesday or Thursday (Feb.5-6). It'' ll work in Ukraine and will establish the facts of the criminal abuse of the Ukrainian people.
The opposition, buoyed by Western expressions of support, pressed on Tuesday, February 4, in parliament for a return to a previous constitution of 2004, which would mean Yanukovich losing some of the key powers he has accumulated since being elected in 2010. These include appointing the prime minister and entire government as well as regional governors. The opposition also wants an unconditional amnesty for protesters detained in the unrest to be broadened into an unconditional pardon for all those being held by police.
00:17. Kyiv Pechersk district court on February 13 will begin consideration of the claim of the citizen Vera Ivanova to some opposition MPs for blocking the rostrum of the Verkhovna Rada, wrote 'Batkivschyna' opposition faction MP Vladimir Yavorivskiy on Facebook.
00:30. Lawmaker, co-chair of the Parliamentary Cooperation Committee EU-Ukraine and Foreign Minister in 2009-2010 Pyotr Poroshenko may become chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament. This could strengthen 'Batkivschyna' opposition faction leader Arseniy Yatseniuk position as a prime minister in the future. More about this in an article by Sonya Koshkina 'Goodwill Games'.
08:19. Head of the Presidential Administration Andriy Klyuyev met with former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in Kharkov the last week. According to the newspaper 'Kommersant Ukraine', citing a source in the leadership of one of the opposition factions, the subject of negotiations was a joint search of the exit of the present situation and bringing together the Party of Regions PR and 'Batkivschyna' opposition faction in the Verkhovna Rada.
08:39. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution, which refers to the readiness to impose 'targeted sanctions' against the involved in the use of force against peaceful protesters in Ukraine. 381 congressman voted in favor of the document, and only two voted against it.
08:56. Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, at a press conference on the results of his visit to Kyiv said the UN is preparing a mediation mission in Ukraine.
09:19. Leader of the 'UDAR' party Vitali Klitschko believes that Ukraine should return to the constitution of 2004 by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine cancelling its decision of accepting the constitution in 2010.
10:30. Head of the Presidential Administration Andriy Klyuyev at a meeting with the injailed leader of 'Batkivschyna' opposition faction Yulia Tymoshenko in Kharkov hospital agreed to a number of concessions from the government. According to this agreements, Batkivschyna' chairman Arseniy Yatseniuk should become prime minister, wrote the 'Kommersant Ukraine'.
11:09. In the night of February 10 in Lvov region unidentified men set on fire a restaurant belonging to a family of deputy chairman of the 'Svoboda' party, MP Igor Krivetsky, reported the press service of 'Svoboda'.
11:26. The Kharkov Court began consideration of Yulia Tymoshenko's complaint on refusal of the penitentiary service to soften the terms of her punishment. Former prime minister filed an application on consent for the consideration of the complaint without her. https://lb.ua/news/2014/02/11/254986_sud_rassmatrivaet_zhalobu_timoshenko.html
Tymoshenko is a represented in a court by her lawyer Alexander Plakhotnyuk.
11:42. The prosecutor's office of Kyiv region will release 18 AutoMaidan activists from criminal liability in case the protesters will satisfy conditions of the law on 'amnesty' - vacate the administrative buildings they have seized and remove barricades from the streets.
12:00. During the visit of President Viktor Yanukovich to Sochi he didn't discuss candidacy for prime minister of Ukraine with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The only task of the Ukrainian side was to get money. However, the President didn't receive an unambiguous answer. More about this in an article by Sonya Koshkina 'Goodwill Games'.
12:14. High Council of Justice dismissed judge Irina Mamontov as chairman of the Obolon district court in Kyiv. Irina Mamontova was the only judge not to throw Euromaidan activists behind bars.
13:04. President Viktor Yanukovich is ready to debate with leader of the 'UDAR' party Vitali Klitschko in one of the national TV channels, reported the presidential press service.
13:38. Kharkov court banned journalists from photographing and filming the proceedings on complaints of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko at Kachanovskaya penal colony refusal to soften conditions of her punishment. Still, journalists were allowed to use voice recorders.
13:49. The European Union may take decision to impose sanctions against Ukrainian officials until the end of February, stated Vice-President of the European Parliament Jacek Protasiewicz.
14:12. European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule on Tuesday went to Kyiv with a two-day visit to assist in finding a way out of the political crisis, reported the EU representative Pia Arenkilde Hansen.
14:43. On Wednesday, February 12, leaders of the regional councils from all over Ukraine will gather in the southern coast of Crimea in Livadia to discuss the political situation in the country. The meeting will be held in Livadia on the initiative of the Kharkov Regional Council Sergey Chernov, who also heads the Association of heads of regional councils of Ukraine.
15:09. President Viktor Yanukovich's recent two-day visit to Sochi hasn't provided a working meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, reported the presidential press service.
15:23. The media information about the meeting of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko with the head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Andrey Klyuyev, which allegedly took place, is untrue, stated Tymoshenko's lawyer Alexander Plakhotnyuk.
15:30. Today Podolsky district court in Kyiv will hold a meeting on the case of three Euromaidan activists involved in vigilante justice over another Euromaidan activist, who allegedly stole money from the donation boxes at Kyiv's Independence Square.
The three opposition activists accused their victim of stealing money from the cash register with donations in support of European integration. They tied his hands and brutally beat him, demanding the return of 14000 hryvnia ($1.600), which he allegedly stole.
15:39. The Foreign Ministry will take into account the conclusions of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union on Ukraine, adopted on February 10. This was announced today at a press briefing by Director of Information Policy Department of the Foreign Ministry Yevheniy Perebiynis.
16:41. A special regime may be introduced in the center of Kyiv, reported ZN.UA, citing sources in the Interior Ministry. According to some reports, special regime may be applied early next week. https://lb.ua/news/2014/02/11/255038_tsentre_kieva_planiruyut_vvesti.html
According to the ZN.UA informant, the document providing 'the list of areas and streets in Kiev, where additional measures to protect the safety of citizens' are listed, has already been passed for approval by the Cabinet of Ministers.
The informant says that the document is an attempt to legitimize the rights of law enforcers:
- to block the streets of the capital;
- restrict freedom of movement of citizens at the center of the capital;
- detain people who, according to policemen, threaten the 'safety of citizens'.
Thus, the latter category involves people wearing camouflage, masks, flags and banners, people travelling in groups, etc. Thus, in the nearest future the streets listed in the document may become unsafe for many Euromaidan protesters and supporters.
17:15. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton stated today during a meeting of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs that on Thursday, February 13th, she will discuss the provision of financial assistance to Ukraine with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde.
17:27. The Council of 'All-Ukrainian Union' Maidan 'supports the development of the draft amendments to the constitution, providing the return to a parliamentary-presidential form of government, after returning to the constitution of 2004.
17:40. Kominternovskiy District Court of Kharkov dismissed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's complaint on refusal of the penitentiary service to soften the terms of her punishment. Tymoshenko's lawyers will appeal.