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Russia without Ukraine is a country;
Russia with Ukraine is an empire.

During the Great War, Germany grabbed Ukraine
and Lenin took it back
During the Great Pariotic War, Germany grabbed Ukraine
and Stalin took it back
During the Winter Olympiad, Germany grabbed Ukraine
and Putin let it slip away

Ukraine Protests - 19 February 2014

Protests January 2014Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych sacked the head of the armed forces, Col. Gen. Volodymyr Zamana, on 19 February 2014. Zamana had been quoted by the AFP news agency earlier in the month as saying that "no-one has the right to use the armed forces to limit the rights of citizens." The presidential decree was published shortly after Ukraines main government security agency, the SBU, declared what it called a nationwide anti-terrorism operation. The Ukrainian Armed Forces may be involved in action related to an antiterrorist operation within the country. The possibility is mentioned in a report posted on the Ukrainian Defense Ministry website.

After a fragile truce, the protests gained momentum in provinces: in Lvov, Ternopol, Ivano-Frankovsk. They not only occupy state offices there, but storm police wards and dismantle Berkut officers. These actions are fairly staged and managed by experienced specialists in street fighting. In Lvov the Ukrainian nationalists blocked the Ukrainian Armys barracks and they didnt allow the soldiers to get out, and they even attacked the barracks. In the western Ukrainian city of Lvov, peoples self-defense brigades were formed to maintain peace and order. The improvised militia was formed one day after rioters stormed and seized the buildings of the regional administration, local interior ministry and security service departments, and several police departments. A fire was also reported in one of the blocked military installations in Lvov after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a building. Meanwhile in Khmelnitsky, a building of the local security service department was set ablaze by petrol bombs.

Fires burned and stun grenades ripped through the center of the Ukrainian capital early 19 February 2014 as riot police charged the main opposition protest camp after clashes killed at least 25 people, including seven police officers. Police and opposition representatives said many were killed by gunshots and hundreds more injured, with dozens in serious condition. Over 800 people, including 392 police officers, had been injured in current clashes in Kiev. Some 350 people, both police and civilians, had been hospitalized with injuries. Nine policemen died from gunshot injuries and 371 were injured. Three hundred forty-nine of them were hospitalized, 74 with gunshot injuries.

Ukrainian opposition leader Vitali Klitschko urged the pro-Western demonstrators occupying Kyiv's Independence Square - also known as Maidan - to defend their positions. He warned women and children to leave the area. Later, Klitschko was to begin emergency talks with President Viktor Yanukovych in an attempt to resolve the deadly crisis, Ukraine's bloodiest since it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The violence came as a suprise as it immediately followed steps by both sides to deescalate tensions. The violence started, by one account, when the nationalist extremists from the opposition tried to encircle the Parliament, the Rada, and they threatened that they wouldnt let any deputies out of there until they vote for the law that they wanted to push through, the law that would reintroduce the so-called constitution of before 2004. The heavy fighting broke out as police tried to block a crowd of demonstrators marching [by one estimate, 20,000 strong, but that seems high] on the parliament building in the Ukrainian capital. Protesters hurled stones and clubbed police, who fired smoke bombs, stun grenades and rubber bullets. The rioters then stormed and looted the nearby unprotected office of the ruling Party of Regions, also setting it on fire.

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Page last modified: 28-02-2014 16:13:51 ZULU