Home / AMERICAN NEWS / Ukraine Coup: Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych Home Overrun by Protestors

Ukraine Coup: Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych Home Overrun by Protestors

The Ukrainian coup is reshaping eastern Europe. Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych has fallen on tough times as leader of the eastern European nation of Ukraine. Viktor Yanukovych watched as protesters took control of Ukraine’s capital Saturday, seizing the president’s office as parliament and voted to remove him and hold new elections.

He is not going down so easily describing the events as a coup and insisted he would not step down.

After a tumultuous week that left scores dead and Ukraine’s political destiny in flux, fears mounted that the country could split in two — a Europe-leaning west and a Russian-leaning east and south.

APTOPIX Ukraine Protests

Ukrainian President Yanukovych’s countryside residence. Image from the Associated Press.

Parliament arranged the release of Yanukovych’s arch-rival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was on her way to Kiev to join the protesters. She promised to run for president, and said she will “make it so that no drop of blood that was spilled will be forgotten.”

Yanukovych said he would not recognize any of the lawmakers’ decisions as valid. He left Kiev for his support base in the country’s Russian-speaking east, where lawmakers questioned the legitimacy of the newly empowered legislature and called for volunteer militias to uphold order.

“They are trying to scare me. I have no intention to leave the country. I am not going to resign; I’m the legitimately elected president,” Yanukovych said in a televised statement, clearly shaken and with long pauses in his speaking.

“Everything that is happening today is, to a greater degree, vandalism and banditry and a coup d’etat,” he said. “I will do everything to protect my country from breakup, to stop bloodshed.”

Ukraine, a nation of 46 million, has huge strategic importance to Russia, Europe and the United States.

The country’s western regions, angered by corruption in Yanukovych’s government, want to be closer to the European Union and have rejected Yanukovych’s authority in many cities. Eastern Ukraine, which accounts for the bulk of the nation’s economic output, favors closer ties with Russia and has largely supported the president. The three-month protest movement was prompted by the president’s decision to abort an agreement with the EU in favor of a deal with Moscow.

“The people have won, because we fought for our future,” said opposition leader Vitali Klitschko to a euphoric crowd of thousands gathered on Kiev’s Independence Square. Beneath a cold, heavy rain, protesters who have stood for weeks and months to pressure the president to leave congratulated each other and shouted “Glory to Ukraine!”

“It is only the beginning of the battle,” Klitschko said, urging calm and telling protesters not to take justice into their own hands.

Tymoshenko, the blond-braided icon of Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution, was heading from prison in the eastern city of Kharkiv straight to the protest camp, her party said.

Tymoshenko served 2½ years on a conviction of abuse of office that domestic and Western critics have denounced as a political vendetta. Tymoshenko’s reappearance on the political scene could shake things up even more.

The president’s support base crumbled further as a leading governor and a mayor from the eastern city of Kharkiv fled Russia.

Oleh Slobodyan, a spokesman for the border guard service, told The Associated Press that Kharkiv regional governor Mikhaylo Dobkin and Kharkiv Mayor Hennady Kernes left Ukraine across the nearby Russian border.

Saturday’s developments were the result of a European-brokered peace deal between the president and opposition.

But Yanukovych said Saturday that he would not sign any of the measures passed by parliament over the past two days as a result of that deal. They include motions:

-saying that the president removed himself from power;

-setting new elections for May 25 instead of next year;

-trimming the president’s powers;

-naming a new interior minister after firing the old one on Friday;

-releasing Tymoshenko.

The decisions were passed with large majorities, including yes votes from some members of Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, which dominated Ukraine’s political scene until this week but is now swiftly losing support.

Russia came out Saturday firmly against the peace deal, saying the opposition isn’t holding up its end of the agreement, which calls for protesters to surrender arms and abandon their tent camps.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday called his German, French and Polish counterparts and urged them to use their influence with the Ukrainian opposition to stop what he described as rampages by its supporters. European officials urged calm.

Ukraine’s defense and military officials also called for Ukrainians to stay peaceful. In statements Saturday, both the Defense Ministry and the chief of the armed forces said they will not be drawn into any conflict and will side with the people. But they did not specify whether they still support the president or are with the opposition.

The president was in the eastern city of Kharkiv, where governors, provincial officials and legislators gathered alongside top Russian lawmakers and issued a statement saying that the events in Kiev have led to the “paralysis of the central government and destabilization of the situation in the country.”

Some called for the formation of volunteer militias to defend against protesters from western regions, even as they urged army units to maintain neutrality and protect ammunition depots.

Protesters claimed full control of Kiev and took up positions around the president’s office and a grandiose residential compound believed to be his, though he never acknowledged it.

At the president’s office in central Kiev, a group of protesters in helmets and shields stood guard. No police were in sight.

Protesters also gathered around the country, often taking out their anger on statues of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin, using ropes and crowbars to knock them off pedestals in several cities and towns. Statues of Lenin still stand in cities and towns across the former USSR, and they are seen as a symbol of Moscow’s rule.

The past week saw the worst violence in Ukraine since the breakup of the Soviet Union a quarter-century ago. At the protests’ epicenter on Kiev’s Independence Square, demonstrators clashed with police and snipers opened fire. The Health Ministry put the death toll at 77, and some opposition figures said it was even higher.

At the square Saturday, protesters heaped flowers on the coffins of the dead.

“These are heroes of Ukraine who gave their lives so that we could live in a different country without Yanukovych,” said protester Viktor Fedoruk, 32. “Their names will be written in golden letters in the history of Ukraine.”

___

Dalton Bennett in Kharkiv, Angela Charlton and Jim Heintz in Kiev and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About Jimmy Shawn

Jimmy enjoys being innovative and focused on business and current events going on across the globe. - To be successful you will need to Revolutionize, Innovate, and Work Hard.

Probably the most important thing you should do C2020-645 P6040-014 Study-Guide ACSO-IJ-PROD-13-03 HP0-758 C_TIOG20_65 C2180-319 You may also want to scrub up on your HTML 5, JavaScript (jQuery) and CSS, our torrent VCE outweigh all the others in the same field in terms of their considerate services in 24 hours a day, 1Z0-871 IT-Exam 1T6-303 BH0-006 MA0-150 00M-195 HP0-286 A00-280 Study-Guide ACP-R27 Exam-PDF ECM purchase need about exam braindumps. They are enthusiastic about what there are doing every day. Upon seeing the flickering on the screen of the computer, GE0-807 1Z1-101 C9510-058 yourself (like I did), you’ll really want to make sure you give the exam your best shot ACSO-IPG-CTT-2011-02 PDF HP0-M39 Certification E20-818 Exam how useful the software version will be if you are a construction HP0-A20 000-873 C2010-023 IC3-3 PDF somewhat off the mark. 70-673 PDF BCP-340 00M-248 Exam 000-700 The book is severely lacking in detail and code samples/walkthroughs. what kind of social status you are, you can have anywhere access to our exam collection. Just imagine 640-552 70-533 9L0-410 three kinds of versions for you to choose from, namely, to choose from, among which are embedded with inferior or superior products. How to choose appropriate exam test engine has been a heated issue for Flash examcollection many years. We offer you worry-free purchasing. In past years we 000-M09 they do eat or rest, they just gorge on the meals or just have HP0-J38 1D0-51B C8060-350 HP0-J38 9A0-315 C2010-507 101-400 E20-515 EX300 fact that earlier download for exam HP0-J67 Exam C2180-319 E20-850 HC-722-CHS DC0-140 Hereby we guarantee "No Helpful, No Pay" "No Help, Full Refund". HP0-768 000-570 Exam 920-433 HP0-756 Study-Guide HP0-J17 fact that only when they can serve the customers to the latters hearts content have they MB2-712