Police Crackdown in Ukraine
In the early hours of Saturday morning November 30 2013, on the Maidan Square in Kyiv, police brutally broke up a group of protesters that had stayed throughout the night to continue to demonstrate against the government’s decision to not sign the Association Agreement with the European Union.
This violent reaction came as a shock not only to those on the square, but to Ukrainians as well as those across Europe and the world.
To see a collection of pictures and videos from the police action you can visit: http://storify.com/alionamelnyk/police-beats-peacefull-protesters-in-ukraine-beate
Such violent police action is not typical for Ukraine, and the response throughout Europe and the world has been to condemn such actions.
In a statement, the EU’s High Representative, Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle called “upon the President and the Ukrainian authorities to carry out investigations into the events last night and to hold responsible those who acted against the basic principles of freedom of assembly and of expression.”
Read the statement here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-1077_en.htm
A statement posted on the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affaris web site also condemns the violence in Ukraine and states: ” [The] forceful dispersion of peaceful demonstrations does not help the cause of Ukraine’s integration with Europe. We caution Ukrainian authorities against using force as it may carry unpredictable and irrevocable consequences.”
Read the statement: http://www.msz.gov.pl/en/news/mfa_statement_on_clamping_down_on_peaceful_protesters_in_kyiv_
Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, also made a comment saying “I condemn the actions that led to forceful confrontation and suffering of people.” Read the English comment: http://www.president.gov.ua/en/
There was no official statement made available from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
Read other statements:
United States State Dept: http://m.state.gov/md218144.htm
United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/minister-for-europe-concerned-about-violence-in-kyiv
The protests continued today at Mykhailivska Square in Kyiv. A larger protest is scheduled for tomorrow.
Pictures from the protests today in Kyiv courtesy of Wojciech Kozmic: