Following three days and nights of clashes leading up to the January 22nd effective date of new Ukrainian anti-protest laws, Ukraine opposition leaders are meeting with President Viktor Yanukovych to demand “snap-elections” and “the annulment of anti-protest laws.”
Yanukovych stirred the passions of protesters after his November 21st refusal “to sign trade and political agreements with the European Union” and agreeing to a deal with Russia instead.
According to Bloomberg News, “as many as five people [are] dead and about 2,000 [were] injured [in the days before]… anti-protest laws took effect.”
The Centre for European Reform’s Ian Bond says the bloodshed makes Yanukovych’s position less tenable: “The more blood is spilled, the harder it becomes for the opposition to give up without achieving its objectives and for the government to make concessions.”
While former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is asking Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin to intervene and “broker [a] peaceful resolution to [the] crisis,” Putin says Ukraine’s authorities know how to handle the situation.
They “know perfectly well what to do,” said Putin. He said they don’t need “the interference of Western governments.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.