RIA Novosti: Ukrainian Police Authorized to Use Live Ammo as Battle Rages

Maidan Square file photo

KIEV, February 20 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s Interior Minister confirmed Thursday he had signed a decree to issue service firearms to police officers and authorized the use of live ammunition. The statement came in the wake of numerous reports from Kiev of both anti-government protesters and police officers being shot dead in ongoing clashes, in which at least 50 people […]

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Russia sees Ukraine violence as coup d’etat attempt – Putin’s spokesman

Map of Ukraine and Ukrainian Flag

(Interfax – February 19, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin blames “extremists” for the latest events in Ukraine, his spokesman Dmitriy Peskov told privately-owned news agency Interfax on 19 February. “The president thinks that it is extremists who are fully responsible for what is happening in Ukraine now. Moscow has supported and keeps supporting a dialogue with all civilized political forces […]

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Interfax: Putin talked to Ukrainian president but not interfering in crisis – spokesman

Viktor Yanukovych file photo

(Interfax -February 19, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin talked to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych about the situation in Ukraine on the night of 18-19 February, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitriy Peskov has said. But the information published about this conversation is untrue, he added. Peskov was speaking to journalists on 19 February, as reported by privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax. “As […]

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BNE: Russians say protests harm Ukraine – poll

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – February 20, 2014) Two-thirds of Russians (63%) believe that protest rallies are harmful for Ukraine’s development, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said. It polled 1,600 adults in 130 populated areas in 42 regions on February 1-2. Negative implications were mostly mentioned by elder citizens (73%) and people with primary education (73%). Respondents […]

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Kiev History Museum Looted During Night of Chaos

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – D. Garrison Golubock – February 20, 2014) The holdings of the Kiev History Museum were looted by unknown intruders during the night of Feb. 18-19, museum management said, Art Ukraine reported. “The first thing we saw, entering one of the vaults, was an 18th century ikon of the holy apostles wrapped in a brocade dress […]

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Interfax: Western media coverage of Ukraine “perverted” – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

BAGHDAD. Feb 20 (Interfax) – Moscow is concerned by how the West has been trying to impact on the situation in Ukraine, and also notes that the situation in this country is being misrepresented, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “We are most deeply concerned by what is going on in Ukraine, and in particular by how Western capitals have […]

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Russia Slams West’s ‘Conniving Politics’ in Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – February 20, 2014) The Kremlin on Wednesday denounced ongoing violence in Ukraine as an “attempted coup by radicals,” as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lashed out at the West and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych declared Thursday a day of mourning. By Wednesday evening, at least 26 people were confirmed dead during clashes in […]

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Ukraine’s 2014: a belated 1989 or another failed 2004?

Maidan Square file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Andrew Wilson – February 18, 2014) Andrew Wilson is a Reader at University College London. He is the author of The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation (Yale, 2009). His latest book, Belarus – The Last European Dictatorship was published in October Whatever their outcome, the events in Ukraine seem likely to be of greater long-term import than the ‘Orange Revolution’ […]

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RIA Novosti: Fear of Nationwide Turmoil in Ukraine Mounts as Unrest Spreads

Maidan Square file photo

KIEV, February 19 (RIA Novosti) – Violent unrest in Ukraine’s capital has spread to other cities in the former Soviet nation, highlighting geographical divisions and raising fears that civil conflict could spin out of control. Reported disturbances were concentrated in the major cities of the country’s west, the heartland of Ukrainian nationalism, where there is strong backing for anti-government protesters […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine’s Premier Calls Protests ‘Attempt to Seize Power’

Ukraine Map and Flag

KIEV, February 19 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s acting prime minister said Wednesday that the violent protests that have rocked the capital were an attempt to seize power by force. “Both society and authorities strongly condemn the violence. This is not a sign of democracy. … This is the manipulation of people’s minds and an attempt to take power by force,” […]

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BNE: West must take some of the blame for Kyiv’s burning

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – February 19, 2014) [Photos and videos here http://www.bne.eu/storyf5777/West_must_take_some_of_ the_blame_for _Kyivs_burning] The body in Kyiv count stood at 25 dead as of 6 a.m. local time with and will almost certainly rise again today, as Ukraine’s capital saw its worst violence since the stand off between the government and protestors […]

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Kiev Forces Ring Opposition Camp as Death Toll Reaches 10; update of “Ukraine Forces to ‘Restore Order’ If Evening Deadline Isn’t Met”

Maidan Square file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Aliaksandr Kudrytski, Volodymyr Verbyany – February 18, 2014 1:09 PM ET) Ukrainian forces announced the start of an operation to clear the Kiev square occupied by thousands of protesters, after at least 10 people died in the bloodiest day of the country’s three-month standoff. Police officials said by loudspeaker shortly before 9 p.m. that women and […]

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NEWSLINK: Ukraine riot police move in on Kiev protesters after 14 die; Protesters battle police in Kiev after Russia renews aid

Maidan Square file photo

[“Ukraine riot police move in on Kiev protesters after 14 die; Protesters battle police in Kiev after Russia renews aid”/update of “Protesters battle police in Kiev after Russia renews aid” – Reuters – Pavel Polityuk, Richard Balmforth – February 18, 2014 – reuters.com/article/2014/02/18/us-ukraine-idUSBREA1G0OU20140218] Reuters covers deadly clashes between Ukrainian police and protesters in Kiev.  The death toll is rising, just […]

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$2 Billion in Russian Aid Fails to Help Ukrainian Currency

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – February 18, 2014) Russia’s promise to release the next payment of a promised $15 billion loan to the government of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych failed to help the country’s hryvnia currency, which fell by up to 1.6 percent against the dollar on Tuesday. Monday’s announcement by Finance Minister Anton Siluanov that Moscow […]

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Russia to Ukraine’s rescue with $2 billion bailout bond purchase

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – February 18, 2014) Just in the nick of time the Kremlin is stepping in with a fresh Ukrainian bond purchases. The Russian government said on February 18 that it would make a second purchase of Ukrainian bonds handing the government some badly needed cash. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that Moscow will buy […]

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Three Statistics with Long Shadows for Russia

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 18, 2014) Three newly released statistics – one on births in Kazakhstan, a second on how Russians understand events in Ukraine, and a third on where websites of the .ru domain are hosted – say more about where the Russian Federation is heading than do more prominent declarations of Moscow political […]

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Ukrainian Opposition Needs to Face Up to Some Painful Realities, Pavlova Says

Maidan Square file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 16, 2014) Ukrainians in the Maidan as well as their supporters need to face up to some painful realities if Ukraine is to escape its current impasse given that at present no good exit is obvious, according to Irina Pavlova, one of the most thoughtful observers of the post-Soviet space. In […]

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Ukraine’s Klitschko Gives Up German Residency

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, February 16 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s boxer-turned-opposition politician Vitali Klitschko said Sunday he has given up his residency in Germany to prove his right to run for the president next year. The leader of the Udar political party, Klitschko, 42, has spent several years living and paying tax in Germany rather than Ukraine. Last year, the world heavyweight champion […]

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Tensions in Kyiv high as Amnesty law deadline expires

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – February 17, 2014) After two weeks of calm, tensions in Kyiv are high again as a 15 day deadline on the new amnesty law expires. So far the prospects for compromise seem good as both sides in the conflict made gestures that will deescalate tensions, the threat of renewed violence remains is again just […]

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Business New Europe: VTsIOM Poll: Russians appalled by aggressive behavior of Maidan activists

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – February 14, 2014) Russians disapprove of Ukrainian protesters who cast stones and bottles of incendiary liquid at the police, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said. 55% of the respondents condemned the aggressive behavior of Ukrainian demonstrators; 26% admitted their dislike for radically minded Ukrainian opposition activists; 15% said they were disappointed and […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia accuses EU of seeking Ukraine “sphere of influence”

EU Map

[“Russia accuses EU of seeking Ukraine ‘sphere of influence’” – Reuters – Gabriela Baczynska, Alexandra Hudson – February 14, 2014 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/14/us-ukraine-russia-eu-idUSBREA1D0PT20140214] Reuters covers tensions between Russia and the EU over Ukraine, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov bemoaning the prospect of an EU sphere of influence on Russia’s borders: Russia accused the European Union on Friday of seeking to […]

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Interfax: Russia ready to be a mediator in Ukraine but will not impose – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – February 14, 2014) Russia is prepared to act as a mediator between Ukraine’s opposition and government in their search for a solution to the crisis in the country if Russia is asked to, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “We will not mind acting as a mediator between the authorities and the opposition if the authorities and the opposition […]

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Merkel to Host Ukraine Opposition as New Rally Planned

Angela Merkel file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska – February 14, 2014) German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host Ukrainian opposition leaders next week as protesters try to raise pressure on the government to step down and Russia accuses the U.S. and European Union of meddling in its backyard. Merkel will meet opposition leaders Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Vitali Klitschko, a former world heavyweight […]

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Ukraine Symbolizes Where the World is Now, Shevtsova Says

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 14, 2014) Every historical period is symbolized by a specific event in a specific place when and where societies and their rulers demonstrate whether or not they are capable of responding to the challenges they face. Today, Liliya Shevtsova says, Ukraine is that place and that time not only for the […]

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Ukrainian Opposition Suffers Setback amid Diplomatic Flap and Rising Concerns

EU Map

(New Eastern Outlook – journal-neo.org – Martin Harris – February 13, 2014) Martin Harris, a freelance journalist and analyst based in the Eurasia region, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”. The recently leaked diplomatic exchange between United States Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasia Affairs Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyat is more […]

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Ukraine’s Future Depends on Maidan’s Addressing Concerns of Country’s Southeast, Commentator Says

Maidan Square file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 13, 2014) Ukraine’s immediate future may be defined by the positions of Russia, Europe and the United States, but its long-term one depends on the nature of the relationship between those backing the Maidan and those in the southeastern portions of the country, according to a Moscow commentator. And that relationship […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Expects Ukraine to Integrate with Eurasian Union

Maidan Square file photo

MOSCOW, February 13 (RIA Novosti) – Russia expects Ukraine to return to a process of integration with a Moscow-driven economics union stretching from Europe to the Pacific Ocean, a senior Kremlin official said Thursday. “We are counting on Ukraine’s return to the integration process,” presidential advisor Sergei Glazyev told an economic conference in Moscow. The Eurasian Union, to which Glazyev […]

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Power and money in Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Oleksander Andreyev – February 12, 2014) Oleksandr Andreyev is a PhD candidate at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. He holds a BSc in Politics, followed by an MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics. Protest in Ukraine initially seemed to reveal a country sharply divided into the pro-Europe west […]

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I am Ukrainian

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – February 12, 2014) The opposition and protestors continue to wage an increasingly effective media war against the incumbent Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. The latest video to surface on YouTube is entitled “I am Ukrainian” and is a heart felt message delivered by an attractive young Ukrainian woman in English. “We are civilised people, but […]

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RIA Novosti: Judge Who Sentenced Protesters Shot Dead in Ukraine

Map of Ukraine and Ukrainian Flag

KIEV, February 12 (RIA Novosti) – A Ukrainian judge who recently sentenced several political protesters to house arrest has been shot dead by unknown attackers, police said Wednesday. Alexander Lobodenko, a 34-year-old district court judge, was shot several times in the back by two assailants on a street near his home in central Ukraine late Tuesday night, the country’s Interior […]

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Poll shows most Russians support Yanukovych in Ukrainian standoff

Viktor Yanukovych file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – February 12, 2014) 28% support President Viktor Yanukovych in the Ukrainian standoff and only 6% side with the opposition, the Public Opinion Foundation said after having polled 1,000 people in 320 cities and 160 villages on February 1-2. Some 36% denied supporting either of the conflicting sides. A total of 75% of the respondents […]

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Russian senator slams EU over “double standards” on Ukraine

Mikhail Margelov file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, February 11, 2014) The head of the Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee, Mikhail Margelov, has accused the European Union of employing double standards. Margelov told Interfax that during his work in PACE he and his colleagues from the Russian delegation acquired strong immunity to double standards in assessments of the same events that are used by […]

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Ukraine’s opposition demands to restore 2004 constitution urgently

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – February 12, 2014) Ukraine’s opposition calls their allies in Rada to act on urgent return to 2004 Constitution. The leader of the Batkivschyna parliamentary faction Arseniy Yatseniuk said on February 11 that his party has asked all its opposition partners to support with 150 signatures the text of the Constitution of 2004 so that […]

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Russian Opposition Envies Ukrainians’ Willingness to Face Bullets

European Portion of Commonwealth of Independent States

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – February 12, 2014) When Russian anti-government activists look over the border at the political standoff in Ukraine, they can not help but feel pangs of envy. While the anti-Kremlin protests that began in late 2011 sputtered and faded over the course of the year, with few tangible results, Ukraine’s Euromaidan movement has […]

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Interview With a Titushki

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Harriet Salem and Graham Stack in Kyiv – February 11, 2014) Ukraine’s ruling Party of Regions is controversially deploying hired muscle to back up police units against opposition protestors. Nicknamed “titushki”, the activity of the hired hands is undermining the government’s already precarious legitimacy. bne spoke to a member of the titushki. There is […]

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Interfax: Anti-Semitism surging in Ukraine – Israeli diplomat

File Photo of Torah Scrolls

MOSCOW. Feb 11 (Interfax) – A senior Israeli diplomat has complained about an alleged upsurge of anti-Semitism in Ukraine. “In the last few years – I mean before this crisis – there was a decline in anti-Semitic sentiments in Ukraine. Now, of course, with the situation being as heated as it is, everything is bubbling over there,” Anna Azari, Foreign […]

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New Dimensions of U.S. Foreign Policy Toward Russia

Maidan Square file photo

(Stratfor.com – George Friedman – February 11, 2014) The struggle for some of the most strategic territory in the world took an interesting twist this week. Last week we discussed what appeared to be a significant shift in German national strategy in which Berlin seemed to declare a new doctrine of increased assertiveness in the world — a shift that […]

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NEWSLINK: Awaiting Russia’s Next Move in Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

[“Awaiting Russia’s Next Move in Ukraine” – The International New York Times – Celestine Bohlen – February 11, 2014] The International New York Times covers efforts by the West to address the crisis in Ukraine.  Russia is expected to step up efforts to bring Ukraine more firmly into the Russian sphere, once the Sochi Winter Olympics are concluded: … in […]

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Absorbing Ukraine Would Destroy Russia, Moscow Commentator Says

Maidan Square file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 10, 2014) Vladimir Putin would view drawing Ukraine into a single economic and political arrangement with Russia as an enormous geopolitical achievement, but if he were to succeed initially, the Kremlin leader would be setting the stage for the demise of the Russian Federation itself, according to a Moscow commentator. In […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine On Terror Alert Amid Explosion Threats

Ukraine Map and Flag

KIEV, February 9 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian security agents are on high alert following reports of planned explosions in the country that could cause mass casualties, the national security service said Sunday. A warning has been issued concerning high-risk facilities across Ukraine, including nuclear and hydro power plants, international airports, railway stations and bus stations, cross-country pipelines and weapons storage […]

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Arab Spring in Russia’s Backyard

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm – February 7, 2014) Michael Bohm is opinion page editor of The Moscow Times. For Russians watching state television news over the past several weeks, the message about the political turmoil in Ukraine is clear: The anti-government protests are a U.S. plot. Take, for example, this Jan. 22 evening news broadcast on Channel […]

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Tape implies US leaning toward backing Poroschenko for Ukraine PM

Petro Poroshenko file photo, with additional men in background, adapted from image at state.gov

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – February 7, 2014) According to the leaked recording of a phone-tapped conversation between senior US diplomats, Washington is pushing for Ukraine’s opposition leaders to take up the offer from President Viktor Yanukovych to head a government of national unity, while viewing Klitschko as a future presidential front runner. But […]

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Nuland Denies U.S. Training Ukraine Militants, Suggests Aid Possible

Victoria Nuland file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org –  February 7, 2014) A senior U.S. diplomat has denied Russian claims that Ukrainian antigovernment militants are trained at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland also said Washington and the international community are ready to provide more aid to Ukraine if leaders move quickly to implement democratic reforms and install what she […]

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RIA Novosti: EU Offers Ukraine Financial Aid in Exchange for Reform

EU Map

BRUSSELS, February 6 (RIA Novosti) – The European Union is ready to boost aid to Ukraine if Kiev pursues economic and political reforms, a senior EU official said Wednesday. “In case of a positive scenario we will be ready to extend our assistance based on a genuine commitment for political and economic reforms, in cooperation with the IMF and other […]

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Who is fighting whom in Ukraine – and why

Maidan Square file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Valery Kalnysh – February 4, 2014) Valery Kalnysh is editor of the Kommersant Ukraina newspaper The Maidan protests, which started over two months ago, have drawn a very clear line between the political parties. At future elections, voters will ask their candidates, ‘What did you do during Maidan?’ How might the politicians reply? The Ukrainian parliament or Verkhovna […]

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Interfax: Tymoshenko says opposition talks with authorities “pointless” – daughter

Yulia Tymoshenko file photo

KYIV. Feb 4 (Interfax) – Ukraine’s ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has criticized the talks between the opposition and authorities to settle the domestic situation, her daughter Yevheniya said. “She believes the talks are pointless and unacceptable. They can only lead to questionable compromises. The authorities simply want to buy time. My mother is against half-measures,” Tymoshenko said in an interview […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine Leader Eying Early Elections Over Use of Force – Lawmaker

Viktor Yanukovych file photo

KIEV, February 4 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych says he is prepared to hold early presidential and parliamentary elections in the country if no other solution can be found to the ongoing political crisis, his political ally has said. The country’s government resigned last week, and demonstrators who have occupied the center of Kiev since November are demanding […]

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Kharkiv politicians take high-stakes hard line against protests

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kharkiv – February 4, 2014) Embattled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s most vocal supporters are currently not from his Donbass homeland, but from the second largest city of Kharkiv. But their combination of provocative sloganeering, abusive rhetoric and apparent thuggishness mean friends like these may do him no favour in the eyes […]

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Shadowy Specter Of Russia Hangs Over Rumored ‘Death Squads’ In Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org –  laire Bigg and Daisy Sindelar – February 4, 2014) After being kidnapped on January 22, Dmytro Bulatov says he was kept blindfolded for eight days as his abductors beat him, sliced off part of his ear, drove nails through his hands, and finally left him for dead in a forest. Through the ordeal, he never once […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine Has $3.3 Billion Unpaid Gas Bill – Gazprom

Russian Gas Facility file photo

MOSCOW, February 3 (RIA Novosti) – Crisis-hit Ukraine currently owes Russia about $3.3 billion in unpaid natural gas bills, Russia’s state-owned gas monopoly Gazprom said Monday in an apparent reminder that the long-running conflict over the fuel has not been solved by a recent price cut agreement. Ukraine is unlikely to pay on time for gas imported in January, Vedomosti […]

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