Neither Side Will Back Down in Ukraine as Tensions Rise Between the Government and Protesters
Ukraine is past peaceful negotiations after months of demonstrations spreading throughout the country have finally reached a boiling point. Protesters refuse to clear out of the streets until President Viktor Yanukovych steps down but he threatens to use “all measures under the law” to end the demonstrations. In other words, further violence can be expected in what has already become a deadly clash.
Protests broke out in late November after the government’s rejection of a planned treaty with the EU.
The crisis escalated this week when two activists were shot dead during clashes near the main protest camp on Kiev’s Independence Square.
On Friday, anti-government demonstrations spread beyond the capital, with protesters now occupying several regional government buildings.
President Viktor Yanukovych earlier promised to make concessions to try to end the country’s crisis.
He pledged to amend anti-protest laws and reshuffle the cabinet.
But opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko said the protesters now wanted the president to resign.
—Posted by Natasha Hakimi