Ukraine: Truce Crumbles, Dozens Dead, Cities Reject Federal Rule


screencap ????????? ??????

Ukraine continues to grow more unstable. Violence resumed less than a day after an attempted truce between President Viktor Yanukovych and the representatives of the pro-western Euromaidan opposition was declared, and a growing number of government officials are rejecting the president's authority. Intermittent fighting since Tuesday morning has marked the deadliest stretch in the nation's revolution, which began in November.

Twenty-six people were reported dead and 1,000 injured after Tuesday's battles began between civilians and the federal government's riot police and internal troops. The body count has since climbed to over 50. One medic claims that the number is closer to 70.

Yanukovych charges that blame rests solely on the protesters, who are "using firearms, including sniper rifles. They are shooting to kill." The Interior Ministry states that the opposition has captured 67 riot police.

At the same time, Acting Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko openly acknowledges that "law enforcement officials have been provided with combat weapons," only a day after the ministry denied using firearms.

A Belarusian news channel aired footage of government snipers shooting at opposition forces even as they tended to injured individuals. International Business Times describes the event as a "massacre" and reports that the attack took place only hours after the president promised the truce.

screencap ????????? ??????

Ukrainian newspaper Ukrainska Pravda writes that in another case, "peaceful people" standing in the street taking a photograph were hit with sniper fire, and one man died after taking a bullet to the throat.

Russian news site reports on a similar situation in which a nurse was hit in the neck, but survived.

Government officials and even some law enforcement are becoming openly opposed to Yanukovych's course of action.

In the western province of Lviv, the regional government declared that because "the [Yanukovych] regime has begun active military action against people," it no longer has authority. Instead, "the lawfully elected local councils and the executive committees created by them remain the legitimate authorities," and that "the majority of the district police departments have already announced their decision to take the side of the people of Ukraine and report to the executive committee of the Lviv region's council."

Even the Kiev City Administrator, Volodymyr Makeyenko, announced his "decision to quit the ranks of the [Yanukovych's] Party of Regions, and take personal responsibility for the vital activity of Kiev."

A State Department official told Radio Free Europe that it had placed sanctions on 20 unnamed Ukrainians, barring them from entering the U.S. The European Union also introduced sanctions, both travel-related and economic. The latter "will affect those businesses who still support the regime that violates human rights," according to Ukrainska Pravda. Some members of the president's administration and party, including the prime minister, have already fled the country. 

For more Reason coverage of Ukraine, click here

NEXT: House Republicans To Pass Anti-Regulation Legislation

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. You know, I know Groovus thought he was making a smart move by moving to Ukraine and escaping the looming Obamacare disaster for doctors like himself. But man, I think he might have chosen unwisely. I would think somewhere like Estonia would have potentially been a better choice.

    1. I pray he’s doing OK. I bet physicians will be in demand.

    2. Estonia has its own problems.

      Statism is like a von Neumann machine plague spreading out over the globe.

      1. Yeah, but Estonia is pretty damn stable, and they overcome all their problems by singing, I hear.

        1. Overcoming their problems by dancing would be even better. Kind of like Footloose writ large.

          1. I was thinking more West Side Story with choreographed knife dances.

            1. “Dear kindly Comrade Putin,
              You gotta understand,
              It’s just our crazy shootin’
              That gets us out of hand.
              Our mothers all are junkies,
              Our fathers all are drunks.
              Golly Moses, natcherly we’re punks!”

            2. No Brett. The Estonians are a devout and nearly completely straight people. West Side Story would be what would happen in a really gay country like Sweden. NTTAAWWT. Estonia would be like The Warriors all the way.

          2. Whatever, Kenny Loggins.

            1. I hear that Estonia’s in an area that might not be all that safe.

              1. I know a couple of people who have visited there. They tell me the place is beautiful, the people friendly and the women near Czech like in their attractiveness. Other than it having a lot of cold and wet weather, I have honestly never heard a bad word about the place from anyone who has visited there.

                1. Hell, the worst shithole in Eastern Europe is nice in the places where tourists are supposed to be when there isn’t a riot going on.

                  1. But the Baltic States are not a shit hole. Where did you hear they were?

              2. A, uh, zone of unsafety, maybe?

                1. All the zones have names like that in the galaxy of terror.

    3. Why haven’t we heard from him here, anyway? He was an adequate counterpoint to some of the douchebaggery around here. I’m too classy to name names, but suffice it to say I’m talking about everyone but me.

      1. He fell in love and disappeared. Or was disappeared. I forget which.

    4. Almost all the articles on this I’ve read so far describes the protesters as “anti-government protesters”.

      Not revolutionaries or freedom fighters like the Arab Spring, you know.

  2. Will this end up a rerun of East Germany 1953, Hungary 1956 or Czechoslovakia 1968?

    1. I doubt Putin will allow the opposition to take down his guy, so likely Hungary 1956.

      1. I don’t think the Russians have the conventional muscle to do that. They barely were able to take back a piece of Georgia, which is about as tough as robbing a kabob stand with a panzer division. The Ukrainians, unlike the Georgians, have a real army and they hate the Russians. So if Russia tried to invade like they did in Hungary, the Ukrainian Army would likely go rogue and fight back. That wouldn’t end well for the Russians.

        1. Don’t underestimate the ability of an authoritarian politician to blunder his way into a bad war because he didn’t want to appear weak.

          1. I don’t. But I didn’t think we talking about Obama in this thread.

            1. Well, he did sort of mention crossing a line the other day.

              1. Obama’s line in the sand is like a…well…line in the sand: easily rubbed out and redrawn in another location. While I approve of the end result, he makes himself and the country look incredibly weak.

          2. Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders–the most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia”–but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go in against Ukraine when death is on the line”! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha…

        2. This could start a conflagration across Eastern Europe and I doubt it ends well for Russia. They could barely take on Georgia and even then they took serious losses. The Russian economy is in the shitter. The Ukrainian army isn’t very good but neither is Russia’s.

          1. To put it in perspective, the Georgian army consists of a bit less than a heavy division minus. I am not sure what the Ukrainian army is, but it has to be multiple divisions. They are too large and kept too much of the old Soviet equipment for it not to be. And yeah, if Russia moved on Ukraine, the Poles, who do have a decent Army, and the rest of Eastern Europe would be hard pressed not to at least provide aid if not direct support.

            1. I think Ukrain’s army is about 130,000. If Russia made a move and lost, they’re naval base in Sevastopol is gone. They be fucked in the Black Sea and that queers their Syrian ops. If Russia starts intervening I would not be surprised to see shiny German-made weapons in the hands of resistance fighters. What a great opportunity for America to not get involved.

              1. I certainly hope that the situation will not deteriorate into an armed conflict. Wars in Central Europe have an awful tendency to grow into huge conflagrations. Too many conflicting interests of powerful nations at stake.

            2. Seems like a job for NATO. That still exists right?

              1. Unfortunately it still exists, even though it’s reason for existence is long gone.

                1. *its*

                  Jesus Christ I can’t believe I did that.

                  1. Um possessive. I think you were write the first thyme.

                2. Helluva world where NATO might protect Ukraine, huh?

        3. Russia has the resources and political will to draw it out as long as necessary.

          Who are the Ukrainians going to turn to for support? The EU? Obama? Hahaha!

          If Putin really decided to fully commit here, there isn’t anything the Ukrainians are going to be able to do about it in the long run. Yeah it would be bloody for both sides, but the Russians will be able to outlast them.

          Eventually Obama will cut the Ukrainians off at the knees by calling for ‘restraint’ and the UN will send in ‘observers’, which will basically mean ‘just give Putin whatever he wants because we don’t have the balls to actually back up our rhetoric with action, and Putin scares the hell out of us, sorry about all the people who died for no reason’.

          1. Well, the same could be said about Poland and Hungary. They are watching the development very closely now.

            The western part of the Ukraine was under Central European (Polish or Austro-Hungarian) rule since the Middle Ages until circa 1939, when it was given to the USSR by the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. The locals were never happy about it and sporadic guerilla wars ensued for the next 15 years or so.

            The Poles know that they have a once-in-century chance to re-establish their influence in the region and push out their adversaries, and they have enough resources to put serious pressure on Kiev apparatchiks. Don’t underestimate them. Not everything is decided by raw power of arms.

  3. The progression of events seems to lend credit to reason’s reporting. Has anyone else been reading MSM sources about Ukraine? Why is our media full of, apparently, Urkrainian state propaganda? Are the lazy ass reporters just calling the interior ministry for quotes to use?

    1. It is to quote our Vice President “a really big fucking deal”. But the events there are also an embarrassment to the chocolate Nixon and an example of how powerless and incompetent and pretty much irrelevant on the world stage he is. So the media pretends it doesn’t exist. Russia could nuke Kiev and it would warrant a mention right after a story about the two brats getting a new kitten.

      1. I’m not talking about the lack of coverage.

        I’m talking about how the coverage there is is covering. It paints a different picture. Not a radically different one, not pro-Yunakovich, but definitely different in the picture it portrays.

    2. I’ve been following Moon of Alabama and RT, and I’ve also been pleased with comments I’m seeing in MSM and even leading blogs, basically calling out the hypocrisy and stupidity of the administration’s feigned concerns.

      It wasn’t so long ago when we helped smooth over real massacres by Uzbekistan’s Islam Karimov, as a matter of simple convenience, to name but one example of our illustrious foreign policy. Now we’re being asked to believe what we’re told and support the side that has all of the fascists and openly neo-Nazi elements, and to forget what a turkey Yushchenko turned out to be 10 years ago, when we last tried to intervene against a majority of Ukrainian voters.

      1. Yeah right.

        Then why doesn’t he end the slaughter and just call an election?

        That’s what Sinwawatra did in Thailand, because she actually does have majority support. And she won again.

        What would have happened if Scott Walker had sent the national guard after the union recall protestors, do you think?

        1. What do you think Obama would do if this happened in Washington?

          1. Well, I know who the cops and soldiers would side with.

            1. Actually UnCivilServant is right.

              In accordance with the Limbaugh Theorem, If this happened in Washington President Obama would claim to be leading the protests and storm Boehner’s office.

              1. And it would probably work a lot better than what Yanukovich is doing.

              2. only after he read about it in the newspaper.

          2. The same fucking thing Yanukovich is doing. What’s your point? Is this supposed to be hypocrisy? Not on my part. I would oppose Obama and be more likely to be a protestor.

            1. He doesn’t “end the slaughter” because it’s the far-right nationalists who started shooting police officers and interior ministry troops, well before government forces were authorized to respond with lethal force, and obviously (to most, if not to you), the decision to “call elections” has to come after the most immediate task at hand, which is nothing short of a counter-terrorist operation.

              No, I don’t think you’re showing “hypocrisy.” I think you’re an ill-tempered fool.

              1. Lies. The cops started this and the protesters are not primarily ‘far-right nationalists’. I gotta say I hardly care about who shot first in an uprising against a despot.

                1. I gotta say I hardly care about who shot first in an uprising against a despot.

                  No shit. I saw them shooting their bricks at those cops live and can’t say I blame them at all.

              2. That’s nice. You seem like a communist.

          3. Be surprised when he heard about it on the news.

            1. You didn’t burn that.

        2. Well, because he won the last one (2010) fair and square. If the antiwar demonstrations in 1969 and 1970 had degenerated into open violence, would that mean that Richard Nixon would have to resign and call new presidential elections?

          1. Protests are not “open violence” and Ukrainians have the right to protest without being shot at.

            And it would be up to Richard Nixon, after selling out to a dictatorial operative of a government that once tyrannized your fellow countrymen, to decide whether killing his own people would be worth being able to say “But, I won the election fair and square”. And it would be up to the protesters, in the case of prevailing, to decide whether he keeps his head or not.

          2. ‘If the antiwar demonstrations in 1969 and 1970 had degenerated into open violence,’

            What ? “had degenerated into open violence” ? WTF do you call “open violence” ?


            I’m speechless. Truely Fucking Speechless.

      2. They also said virtually nothing in favor of the Iranian uprising a couple of years ago. Jesseimp or whatever his handle is had a couple of links in the PM links yesterday talking about how the Obama administration is virtually ignoring some unbelievably bad laws and straight up Nazi language by government officials in Uganda and Gambia regarding homosexuals.

        If you were a cynic you would be tempted to think Obama has an affinity for tyrannical governments.

        1. I may question your analysis at other times, but you’re absolutely right about that.

          Why aren’t more American LGBT groups willing to challenge the administration over policy towards those countries? They should have the courage to stand for what they believe to be right, even if it means breaking with traditional allies.

          1. Obama will antagonize Russia, a country that has however many thousands of nuclear weapons and is pretty much the last country we ever want to get in a war with, over its laws. But he won’t say a damned word about much more appalling laws in Africa where the risk of doing something or at least saying something is near nil.

            I am sorry, but his actions tell you all you need to know about what how important he actually thinks homosexual rights are.

            1. I think we agree that antagonizing a nation that’s far more democratic and inclusive than Afghanistan ever will be is bad policy for any administration.

              1. I think the Russian laws suck. But they are hardly the worst in the world. And however bad they are, a new cold war with Russia would be a lot worse.

                1. The problem with the Russian laws is that they seek to curtail democratic change by criminalizing “propaganda” in favor of gay rights. The government wielding that power should be terrifying to anyone who believes in a robust civil society, but that’s something the Russians need to sort out. I don’t think we’ll have much influence there unless it’s purely by cultural export (Let’s get Will & Grace translated and pirate the shit out of it in Russia [and Iran for that matter]. It worked for Biden).

                  The US could do much more WRT to aid dependent African countries who have state-facilitated mob-justice.*

                  *That shouldn’t be construed as gay rights being the sole metric for whether or not we send aid, but we should be reviewing whether the overall humanitarian situation in these countries is improving, remaining static or worsening when we discuss how much or if any aid we send.

                  1. They are not good Jesse. No question. But I am unsure what the US can do about them.

                2. Russia is the focus of the outrage with respect to gay rights because it’s probably the most homophobic white and Christian country. People on the Left don’t feel comfortable criticizing non-white, non-Christian societies. They also think you can’t expect much from black or brown people anyway.

                  But with Russia it’s easy. Jon Stewart can portray Russia as a paradise for the Republicans, the true red state. The Russian Orthodox church is like the religious right here. You can attack Russian homophobia completely within the framework of a smug Obama voter. There’s no discomfort whatsoever.

                  1. You nailed it Grizzly.

                  2. Jon Stewart can portray Russia as a paradise for the Republicans, the true red state.

                    I saw a link to that but I figure I’ll wait to watch it until my aunt sends me the link and then picks a fight when I don’t think it’s the best thing ever.

                    People on the Left don’t feel comfortable criticizing non-white, non-Christian societies.

                    I agree, but think there’s more to it than that. We see Russia as an essentially Western nation and expect it to behave as such. I think there’s an element of horror to watching a society that isn’t THAT exotic lurch in such a retrograde direction.

                    1. I’ve watched that video. They managed to present Russia as a libertarian paradise in terms of economics: balanced budget, flat tax rate, little regulation. The last thing is an outright lie. It’s also the place where even local liberals are in favor of gun rights. This is so untrue and dishonest, it’s hard to believe: the gun control laws and attitudes in Russia are worse than anywhere in the US.

                    2. Libertarian paradise where government contracts go to entities favored by powerful politicians! What hogwash.

                    3. Also, we’ve still got the Old, Bold Cold Warriors running around in DC. Any excuse to bust the balls of Russia is a good one to them.

                  3. Russia is the focus of the outrage with respect to gay rights because it’s probably the most homophobic white and Christian country.

                    Funny, because the way “Christianity” is practiced there is a lot like taking kids to see Santa at the mall. Some cool costumes and nice buildings, but nobody really talks about religion there. The most religious thing I saw were a few hand waving “blessing” kind of gestures from my mother in law before leaving.

        2. Jesseimp

          I kind of like that. Although I don’t think I’m elfin enough to be called impish.

          1. My apologies. I just couldn’t remember your name. But I remembered what you had to say.

            1. Just refer to him as “CEO of Adorphan, Inc”

          2. “Jessimp”

            jesse haz familar? Wizardly!

      3. the side that has all of the fascists and openly neo-Nazi elements

        What are you talking about?

        what a turkey Yushchenko turned out to be 10 years ago

        He sucked but HE DIDN’T MURDER PEOPLE.

  4. In the western province of Lviv, the regional government declared that because “the [Yanukovych] regime has begun active military action against people,” it no longer has authority.

    They’re clearly just Teathuglican wreckers who support slavery.

    1. Racist bitter clingers, all of them.

  5. In the western province of Lviv, the regional government declared that because “the [Yanukovych] regime has begun active military action against people,” it no longer has authority. Instead, “the lawfully elected local councils and the executive committees created by them remain the legitimate authorities,” and that “the majority of the district police departments have already announced their decision to take the side of the people of Ukraine and report to the executive committee of the Lviv region’s council.”

    I wonder if Lviv’s statement will set the tone for other localities to pull support. Even if it’s not an important district, someone in an official position has said they’re not with the central government. That should make it easier for others to do the same.

    1. There is a tipping point where the military and police no longer have enough confidence in the government prevailing to justify taking the risk of shooting civilians. If your side loses and you drop your weapon, you are a hero. If you follow orders and shoot people, you are a criminal who will end up at the end of a rope.

      This is why the Iranians import Arabs to do their dirty work. The imported Arabs hate the Persians and know they are dead no matter what if the government ever goes down. So they are much more reliable than local people would be.

      1. It’s concerning that the military is willing to snipe civilians standing around, but it’s good to see that they’re already calling it a military operation against the citizenry and the police departments are vowing to stand with civilians.

        It’ll be interesting how justice is meted out once the dust settles.

        1. Some of the military is willing to do that. We don’t know how many refused the order. If the military were completely on board, I would think it would have crushed this thing is pretty short order.

  6. Meanwhile in Eastern Ukraine there is rising Pro-Russian Separatism, something that can’t please the Western Ukrainian nationalists.

  7. RT: Russia Today. AS: Alexander Selivanov

    RT: It’s all very well condemning Ukraine, but how would riots of this kind be dealt with if they had happened elsewhere in Europe?

    AS: We already saw when it was Occupy Wall Street in the US they dispersed the crowds very efficiently, very effectively and very quickly without ever listening to any journalists, any public opinion from the international community. In Germany, I don’t think this situation could ever emerge because there is strict control and the police are free to use firearms both in the US and Germany when there is a threat to public peace and to state of sovereignty.

    Does he really thing OWS was dispersed “quickly” or even at all?

    1. He must have done a quick google search and found that one picture of the protesters getting pepper sprayed.

    2. Did OWS completely block Times Square for months? Would they have been allowed to?

      1. No and no. They occupied a park that no one really cared about.

        1. Did they ever bring 20,000 people to the protest, let alone more?

          1. “Prior to being closed to overnight use and during the occupation of the space, somewhere between 100 and 200 people slept in Zuccotti Park.”

      2. Did OWS completely block Times Square for months? Would they have been allowed to?

        Do you move goalposts much? Should you even be allowed to?

  8. The answer: Yulia Tymoshenko.

    1. There was a reason she lost the last election. She’s as corrupt and inept as Yanukovych. Only she’s pro EU/US instead of pro-Russia.

      1. Did they ahve any pro-Ukraine candidates?

      2. You’re not going to get anyone at that level of politics who isn’t corrupt; a brilliant and honest leader like Havel comes only once in a lifetime. So you may as well get someone who is more likely to respect liberties than Putin’s butt boy. In a relative sense, of course.

      3. She’s also quite hot.

        1. Damn, you’re right. She is hot.

          1. You should see her daughter.

            Imagine THAT Obama selfie.

          2. She is 57 too. What the hell is she? A vampire? She looks fantastic.

        2. I got banned from a feminist subreddit for saying she’s hot. But she is.

  9. Today my thought of Ukraine was – thank god for the 2A here in the states.

    1. And that’s why the left needs gun control – just look how difficult it is to restore order when the peasants are armed.

      1. Absolutely. And it is also really difficult to engage in mob violence and intimidation against your political enemies when they are armed.

        There is a reason why fascism and communism never really took root in this country and it is not just because Americans are just less prone to that than Europeans. Most Europeans didn’t like those ideologies either. But thanks to the use of mob violence and terror used by those groups, thee wasn’t much they could do about it. America has been largely spared of those evils because it always has been far too violent and far too well armed for such paper hanging thugs to have any success.

        The fascist left understands this and thus works very hard to both disarm the public and make it dependent and more docile. They would love nothing better than to be able to go out and terrorize and suppress their enemies. They just can’t, yet.

        1. Thugs got better things to do than get shot.

          1. Absolutely. The fascist left would love nothing better than go out and throw bricks and terrorize the various bitter clingers of the world. Go into small towns and suburbs and knock some heads and put people in line. That is what Bill Ayers tried to do with his “day of rage”. He went to a conservative white neighborhood with his little band of thugs and started beating people up and breaking shit. He of course got his ass kicked and had to go underground. His successors would like to be a little more successful next time.

  10. What’s all this talk about Ukraine’s “federal government”? Ukraine isn’t a federal state (like the U.S., Canada, Germany, or Russia), so it doesn’t have a federal government. Call it the “central government,” if you like.

  11. Christ, the video (where the screencap comes from) is brutally hard to watch. The only thing that makes sense to me about the situation in Kiev is that the Berkut is a psychopathic and malevolent organization.

  12. Do you really think that the genetics of the Ukraine people are any different than the genetics of an American? That we cannot go into the state of unrest happening over there right now? I’ve written about this scenario in fiction–based on the caustic elements that have brewed this poison in history–repeatedly.

    You push diversity not to acknowledge culture but to promote divisiveness. And then you turn the minority into a victim regardless of circumstance. You continue government corruption and make it impossible for any candidate without the proper funding to ever achieve office.

    You continue to destroy the economy–in a very deliberate fashion. At the same time you create a class of entitlement driven which in turn creates more divisiveness and class warfare.

    Keep doing the above and we will have Kiev right here–except it will be called Washington D.C. And will spread to the entire nation. The above factors I used in my fiction were based on history. And history repeats itself. The problem with this country is we haven’t had a real problem since WW II. We have three generations that simply think it can’t happen in America. In a nation that is not even three hundred years old. It not only can happen– it is guaranteed it will.

    So take a good look at Kiev. It is a foreshadow of the approaching storm.

    Charles Hurst. Author of THE SECOND FALL. An offbeat story of Armageddon. And creator of THE RUNNINGWOLF EZINE blog. .

    1. History doesn’t repeat itself.

      But it does rhyme.


    2. History doesn’t repeat itself.

      But it does rhyme.


Please to post comments

Comments are closed.