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Ear to the Ground

Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych Concedes Everything but His Position

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Posted on Jan 28, 2014

  No go: Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych stayed put, at least through Tuesday. Wilson Dias/Agência Brasil (CC-BY)

Tuesday was a victorious day for the Ukrainian protesters who have thronged their streets and clashed with government forces for months, as President Viktor Yanukovych handed them some major concessions ... except for one.

Surprising no one, Yanukovych proved to be resistant to the idea of giving up his job, although that requirement was on top of the opposition’s list of action items throughout its revolt. The Telegraph laid out the details later that day:

As he struggled to end the occupation of his capital by tens of thousands of protesters, President Viktor Yanukovych gave into a series of their demands, sacrificing his prime minister and every member of the cabinet.

An emergency session of the country’s parliament tried to appease the marchers by repealing nine draconian security laws by 361 votes to two. It was the passage of these measures, banning almost all forms of public protest, which had galvanised the protests against Mr Yanukovych.

Yet only 12 days after approving the laws, MPs scrapped them without debate. All were abandoned during a single vote that took less than a minute.

Boxer-turned-politician Vitali Klitschko—head of the UDAR (“Punch”) party, no less—whose presence became increasingly prominent as the crisis reached a crescendo, was on the scene in Kiev to declare the day’s events “not victory but a step to victory,” The Telegraph added.

For more background on the Ukrainian uprising, click here, here and here.

—Posted by Kasia Anderson

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