Mar 8, 2014
Ukraine Crisis Intensifies as Death Toll Rises, EU Imposes Sanctions
Posted on Feb 20, 2014
The relative calm that was achieved in Ukraine earlier this week was a distant memory by Thursday, as clashes between protesters and police claimed at least 22 lives by day’s end, according to the BBC.
All but one of those reported killed in the ongoing unrest were demonstrators rallying to hold parliament to an agreement formed Monday, and then abandoned, that would have diminished Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s powers. Violence broke out Tuesday when government forces attacked an opposition stronghold in Kiev’s Independence Square.
Protesters reportedly had captured and detained police as well—as many as 67, according to government sources, who also claimed that one officer had been killed. Many of the deaths on the opposition side were linked to snipers firing on people attempting to return to the encampment at Maidan (Independence Square).
By Thursday evening, EU leaders had taken action to curb the violence by imposing sanctions on officials seen as contributing to the escalating crisis (via BBC):
Read the text of the Council of the European Union’s conclusions on the current state of the Ukrainian situation here.
Meanwhile, Vice UK’s news editor, Henry Langston, witnessed some of the bloodshed and gave his take from Kiev on Thursday, reporting that local hotels were being used as morgues as the body count multiplied and medics struggled to treat the badly wounded (but be advised: linked article contains graphic imagery):
The impasse between Yanukovych and his opponents sparked in late November, when he stopped short of finalizing an agreement with the European Union in favor of strengthening ties with Russia—and specifically, Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin, further underscoring divisions in loyalties between Putin’s regime in Moscow and counterparts in the EU and Washington, continued to support Yanukovych throughout the latest developments in Kiev.
The BBC put together a relatively brief but comprehensive primer on the most current chapters in the Ukrainian uprising—read up on that recent history here.
—Posted by Kasia Anderson
Next item: A Republican San Francisco Ahead?
New and Improved Comments