Truce called but fails to hold


Truce called but fails to hold

Last night and early this morning all international media were reporting that a truce had been called between the government and protesters in the ongoing demonstrations across the Ukraine.

This morning live TV coverage and the reporting on the Kyiv Post website suggest that the truce has not lasted. Gunfire and explosions have been heard in the centre of the capital and people were seen running away from police.

Meanwhile Western leaders have condemned the violence with many meetings taking place in Europe and elsewhere today to discuss the situation in Ukraine. The Russian federation is blaming outside forces on the violence in Ukraine and has called for restraint on both sides.

Yesterday President Viktor Yanukovych sacked the head of the armed forces, Col. Gen. Volodymyr Zamana in a sign that suggests the president is struggling to maintain control of his security forces. RiaNovosti reports Zamana as saying “no-one has the right to use the armed forces to limit the rights of citizens.”

You can find excellent coverage of what is happening in Kiev here, but here is a sample of the coverage explaining how the truce has broken.

“Protesters go on offensive, pushing police back up hill to October Palace, seizing buildings; gunshots all over

Feb. 21, 9:21 a.m. — Gunshots are incessant and heard everywhere on Kyiv’s Independence Square as hundreds of protesters systematically march on police, dislodging them from their positions on the main square and pushing them up the hill into retreat beyond October Palace. A police bus is set on fire. Protesters are protecting themselves from gunshots with shields. Other protesters have taken over vacant stores and shops on the square. At this moment, police are in retreat to the systematic march. Protesters are armed with Molotov cocktails. — Christopher J. Miller

Orobets tweets about police sniper on Shovkovychna Street; protesters take barricades

Feb. 20, 9:05 a.m., — Opposition member of parliament Olesya Orobets tweets that there is a police sniper on a roof of a building on Shovkovychna Street, scene of the deadly Feb. 18 clashes. Meanwhile, a protester leader takes the stage on Kyiv’s Independence Square to instruct fighters not to shoot or throw anything into the thick black smoke east towards European Square because other fighters have manned barricades on the other side of the smoke to do battle with police. — Olga Rudenko and Nathaniel Espino

Truce over as explosions, Molotov cocktails greet Feb. 20 morning

Feb. 20, 8:30 a.m. — Could it be the shortest truce in history? Less than 12 hours after President Viktor Yanukovych and political opposition leaders called for a truce to find time to negotiate a peaceful solution to the nation’s political crisis, explosions hit Independence Square on the morning of Feb. 20, where police and protesters re-engaged in their violent conflict.

Police threw Molotov cocktails into the opposition-occupied Music Conservatory to start it on fire.

Thick black smoke obscures the view from Independence Square east to European Square.

One of the protest leaders on stage is giving directions, seeking doctors, ordering fireworks to be thrown, claiming that a police sniper has been caught, summoning troops to form battle lines. A crowd of 1,000 to 2,000 protesters chanted “bring him on stage!” to the claim that a police sniper had been caught.

The conflict resumed at sunrise, witnesses said.

It appears the politicians forgot to tell the police and front-line fighters there was a truce, or the protesters and police simply are following different orders.– Nathaniel Espino”

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