Ukraine

Ukraine: "The War Is Here." Over 20 Dead and 1,000 Injured

Violence erupts and fires rage.

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Livefeed screen-cap pic.twitter.com/iPqEidsHZ8

Violence between Ukraine's opposition (known as Euromaidan) and the government's SWAT-style police force (Berkut), has boiled over today. Fires are raging across protesters' tent-towns and police stations in what is being described as "open warfare." Estimates indicate that over 20 people are dead and over 1,000 are injured. The BBC reports that officers are using rubber bullets and stun grenades, while The Daily Beast says machine guns are their weapon of choice. Protesters are armed with an array of weapons, from bricks and molotov cocktails to firearms of their own.

Parliamentary member Lesya Orobets writes

The war is here. A real fierce war. It is impossible to grasp this emotionally, although the mind is working precisely and quickly quite apart from emotions. We are being exterminated because of our desire to have dignity and decide our lives independently. This simply makes no sense. My fellow Ukrainians are being killed by the creatures that not only resemble us biologically, but also carry Ukrainian passports.

Russian news website Slon.ru explains that mayhem was sparked because police blocked opposition members and their representatives from entering Ukraine's parliamentary building, where they planned on introducing constitutional reforms to limit the authority of President Yanukovych, who has been consolidating power.

The Kyiv Post has a comprehensive timeline of events. Here are some highlights:

Feb. 18, 8 p.m. — Acting Security Services of Ukraine head Oleksandr Yakymenko and acting Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko issued a public warning at 4 p.m. to protesters to clear the streets within two hours: "If by 6 p.m. the lawlessness doesn't cease, we shall be forced to used all legal means to bring order."

[…]

Police continued to amass in the evening… Protesters tore up paving stones on Khreshchatyk Street, stood guard at barricades and stockpiled Molotov cocktails as if bracing for an attack by police overnight.

[…]

Feb. 18, 8:55 p.m. — Police had encircled Kyiv's Independence Square. Tent cities housing

pic.twitter.com/CjOknscBXG

protesters were on fire. Officers had deployed a water cannon and an armored personnel carrier. But a protester on the main square said that police had not penetrated the barricaded perimeter and were merely encircling the protesters there.

[…]

Feb. 18, 9:28 p.m. — Channel 5 is reporting that President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leader Arseniy Yatseniuk are meeting tonight in a bid to end the violence 

Shortly after midnight, one politician asserted, "I am confident that today Maidan will be stripped."

[…]

Feb. 18, 10:18 p.m. — There are unconfirmed reports of 300-500 "titushki"—government-hired thugs—walking on Volodymyrska Street towards Sofiyivska Square

pic.twitter.com/Toc7fBGSA0

[…]

Feb. 18, 10:22 p.m. — Several news media outlets report that protesters in western Ukraine have taken over police headquarters in two oblasts, Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk, and are trying to storm the headquarters in Ternopil Oblast.

[…]

Feb. 18, 11:30 p.m. — About 20,000 people remain on Kyiv's Independence Square late on Feb. 18. A lot of the square is on fire from burning tires and debris.

So far, no resolution has been reached between Yanukovych and opposition leaders. Whether or not they even met is still unclear

Read Reason's previous coverage of the Ukrainian revolution here.

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  1. So, will Reason be bringing any of this up the next time they are on Russia’s propaganda channel?

    1. And yes, I know this is in the Ukraine, not Russia, but it’s largely due to Russian influence on Ukraine’s government.

      1. Reason should interview Soros again on his continued efforts to aid freedom fighters against fascists.

        1. The Nazi weren’t freedom fighters.

        2. ‘classy’, PB.

          You should make sure anytime violence breaks out in foreign countries and innocent people start dying to ensure to take the opportunity to make cheap rhetorical points about your shitty domestic political interests.

          Because so many people reading will think, “gee, that guy is really clever!” and not, “Christ, who’s that slimy fuck?”

          1. This is H&R. “Classy” has never existed here.

            Soros is one of the great supporters of liberty, capitalism, and democracy in history – measured in cash support at the very least.

            Before everyone got consumed with TEAM! he was an esteemed voice here at Reason.com.

            1. DIAF You fascist loving shit.

            2. Anonbot makes better excuses, you twit

            3. WHAT? He is trying to destroy Democracy in Ukraine, in support of his tribal agenda.

              1. WHAT? He is trying to destroy Democracy in Ukraine, in support of his tribal agenda.

                Spoken like a true Putin acolyte.

            4. Yes, I think I have read that Soros has contributed quite a bit to organizations that have opposed illiberalism in Ukraine.

              1. Soros has supported freedom fighters in Georgia, Serbia, and other countries as well.

                And even here in the USA! (which is why conservatives hate him. (He opposed the budding fascism of the GOP 2001-present)

                You can tell the real Team Red types by their knee-jerk hatred of Soros.

                1. I agree knee jerk hatred of Soros is often a reliable indicator of someone in the GOP camp, but I think your equating Soros’ domestic political efforts against the GOP with supporting freedom fighters in oppressed countries like Serbia to be overwrought.

                2. When will he oppose the fascism of the Democrats?

                3. Whereas our calmly considered and rational distaste for you personally is entirely driven by independent experience, free of any political bias whatsoever.

        3. yet no word on Soros betting against the market.

          1. He increased his hedge? Big deal.

            He has an 11-1 long ratio instead of 11-.05 last year. I read the fucking idiots over at ZeroHead say SOROS DOUBLES HIS SHORT POSITION!

            1. fucking idiots over at ZeroHead

              hmmm…Trust random web site i have never heard or trust shrike…

              Not even a tough choice really.

  2. Silly rabbit, trix are for kids! If machine guns were the weapon of choice there would be more than 20 dead no? Or is their aim that bad?

    So far this isn’t sounding like anything more than Watts and is yet to come close to the NYC draft riots.

    1. The fact that much of the fighting has been happening after dark may contribute to poor aim. Some reports say that pro-government forces are dousing the opposition in fluorescent paint to make them more visible targets.

      And, death tolls are unconfirmed so far, since it’s pretty chaotic.

    2. “Stilgar|2.18.14 @ 7:41PM|#

      If machine guns were the weapon of choice there would be more than 20 dead no? Or is their aim that bad?”

      I know the internet generation has zero attention span and wants to draw conclusions about things before they’ve even happened, but this is getting a little ridiculous.

      “Initial reports from Pompeii suggest less-than-ideal sunbathing conditions”

    3. If the picture is accurate they are using iron sights at night, so yeah, their aim probably is that bad.

  3. Thank heavens the US doesn’t have a president bent on consolidating power against the wishes of the citizens!

  4. A bid to end the violence?

    Euro Maidan can’t be bought. Euro Maidan can’t be sold.

  5. Hope Groovus is ok. Anyone heard from him recently?

    1. I thought Doc Groovus was in Belarus.

      1. Pretty sure it was Ukraine. Only reason I know that is because I’m ethnically Ukrainian and it somehow came up. Not that i know anything about what’s happening there. Just that I always wanted to visit.

    2. Someone did mention they had received an email. I think that was before Christmas tho.

      Wasn’t his new lady-friend’s father ex secret service?

      1. Banjos said the other night that Sloopy and the Doc were staying in touch via email. The last email he got was a while ago and said he was taking a break from Reason. Didn’t say why and then he stopped responding to emails.

        Kinda odd.

  6. The BBC reports that officers are using rubber bullets and stun grenades, while The Daily Beast says machine guns are their weapon of choice.

    Leave it to the BBC to be an apologist for tyrants.

    1. Leave it to the BBC to be an apologist for tyrants.

      No shit, on GMT yesterday morning the newstalker guy was talking to a couple of the opposition people in Venezuela and basically blamed the violence in the country on them protesting peacefully.

      He also mentioned the election the country had last year, because hey, a minority having their rights trampled and being murdered is totally ok if the thievery and murder was sanctioned by a plurality.

      Fuck the BBC sucks.

  7. The democratically elected Ukrainian government is right to suppress these people, they are agents for a hostile foreign powers(America and the EU), and the International Jewish community. The Ukrainian people support the president.

    1. Sounds like a plan to me, dude.

      Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.

    2. I dont really know what is going on there, I have not kept up, so I was suspending my judgement about the good guy/ bad guy roles.

      That is until you posted your comment. International Joooooooo Lizard people space aliens huh? Dead giveaway.

      1. …they are agents for a hostile foreign powers(America and the EU), and the International Jewish community.

        In poker, that’s what we call a “tell”.

        Seriously, though, what is it with totalitarians always blaming shit on a vast Jewish conspiracy, especially in that particular neck of the woods? It seems like every ten years or so someone with a Slavic/Russian/Eastern European-sounding name is accusing Jews everywhere (or, even better, Zionists) of being part of some vile conspiracy.

    1. VITALI KLITSCHKO IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT!?!?!?!?! That is the best thing I’ve ever heard. I hope to Christ he wins, because that would make Ukraine the baddest country in the world. Plus, he could straight up challenge Vladimir Putin to single combat.

  8. Several news media outlets report that protesters in western Ukraine have taken over police headquarters in two oblasts, Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk, and are trying to storm the headquarters in Ternopil Oblast.

    “Peaceful” protesters don’t take over police stations.

    1. You forgot to mention the role of the jews here.

      1. I mentioned them in my other comment.

        1. Yes, but it can’t hurt to mention it repeatedly, can it?

    2. “Peaceful” protesters don’t take over police stations.

      Perhaps they “occupied” them?

    3. “Peaceful” protesters don’t take over police stations.

      At some point normal people react to being beaten and shot in ways that aren’t peaceful.

      And who called them peaceful in the first place Murken? I didn’t see the word mentioned in the article.

  9. Top Gear (BBC) just did an episode driving across the Ukraine.
    They didn’t mention protests, hardly even blinked at Kiev.
    But they did drive through Chernobyl.

    1. They filmed that back in November. Protests escalated in early December.

    2. There were there though, and it appears peaceful during their visit =

      http://www.carscoops.com/2013/…..lming.html

      1. The scenes of them driving through Chernobyl was eerie.

        1. There used to be a website about a chick who would ride her motorcycle through the closed area.

          Ah, found it.

          http://www.kiddofspeed.com/

  10. Best solution would probably a split up of Ukraine between the eastern & western parts. Not that that’s anyone’s business outside Ukraine (not that that will stop plenty of people from screaming for Western intervention now).

    1. 1) ‘best (perceived short term) solutions’ and ‘drawing new borders’ has traditionally resulted in simply making for 50+ years of conflict instead of domestic political reconciliation. See “Israel/Palestine” / Cyprus / “India-Pakistan” / Northern Ireland, or anywhere else the British have fucked something up.

      2) Western Intervention is not as likely or as dangerous as Russian intervention.

      1. The eastern borders of Ukraine are something that Khrushchev just drew up anyways. These lands have been traditionally Russian.

        1. By “traditionally”, you mean since the 18th century?

          I am a little leery of anyone declaring the ‘traditional’ geographic/ethnic heritage of any of the nation states in Eastern Europe. These fuckers have been fighting tooth and nail over this shit for like 1000 years, and obviously still are. I doubt your opinion is any better than a few million Ukrainians.

          1. I say give Russia and the Ukraine back to the Vikings.

            1. No way. The Golden Horde.

              1. Puh-lease. The Vikings were first.

                1. I thought the whole point of Ukraine et al was the Vikings never got there. They quit after raping Lithuania AFAIK. They preferred the irish! That’s why we’re so charming and have red beards.

                  1. also, I played Medieval: Total War at least a few times and I’m pretty sure it was the Golden Horde. They were the yellow ones.

                  2. “I thought the whole point of Ukraine et al was the Vikings never got there.”

                    Close, except not Ukraine, but Belarus. And not the Vikings, but the Mongols. And AFAIK, it’s actually debatable that they never got there – they certainly didn’t stick around though.

                    To elaborate, the Vikings did get to Ukraine, in fact the state that they founded is known as the Kievan Rus, i.e. it was ruled from the territory of modern Ukraine. The Mongols conquered the parts of Kievan Rus that later became Russia and Ukraine, but the territories of modern Ukraine and Belarus were quickly absorbed by Lithuania and later Poland. What became Russia stayed under the Mongols’ successors, the Golden Horde, for a few more centuries.

    2. Has President Obama drawn any lines in the sand yet ?

  11. These protesters have it in the bag.

    Ukraine is weak. A road apple. It’s feeble. It’s time to put the hurt on the Ukraine.

    1. Ukraine is game to you?!

  12. EuroMaidenPR’s site is down. TOS violation.

  13. Thank heavens the US doesn’t have a president bent on consolidating power against the wishes of the citizens!

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