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calendar   Saturday - February 22, 2014

Ukraine - Orange You Glad It’s Not Quite Revolution Two?

Ukraine’s opposition has asserted its authority over Kiev and parliament in a day of fast-paced events.

MPs have replaced the parliamentary speaker and attorney general, appointed a new pro-opposition interior minister and voted to free jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

Police appear to have abandoned their posts across the capital.

Protesters in Kiev have walked unchallenged into the president’s official and residential buildings.

President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders signed a peace deal on Friday after several days of violence in which dozens of people died in a police crackdown on months of protest.

But the deal failed to end the protests and huge crowds remain in Independence Square, the Maidan.

The opposition have called for elections before 25 May, earlier than envisaged in Friday’s peace deal.

The president’s whereabouts are unclear
- his aides say he is in Kharkhiv, close to the border with Russia.

Presidential aide Hanna Herman said he was due to give a televised address later.

A gathering of deputies from the south-east and Crimea - traditionally Russian-leaning areas - is taking place there, but Ms Herman said the president had “no intention” of attending, nor of leaving the country.

An opposition figure has announced to the protest crowds in Independence Square that the president has resigned. This has not been confirmed, but the crowds reacted with huge cheers.

On Saturday morning as parliament met, speaker Volodymyr Rybak resigned, citing ill health. He has been replaced by Oleksandr Turchynov, an ally of Ms Tymoshenko.

Another Tymoshenko ally, Arsen Avakov, has been appointed interim interior minister. He replaces Vitaly Zakharchenko, who was sacked on Friday after being blamed for the deaths of civilians in last week’s crackdown on protests.

Vitaly Klitschko, leader of the opposition Udar party, repeated his demand for the president’s immediate resignation.

The protests first erupted in late November when Mr Yanukovych rejected a landmark association and trade deal with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Russia.

On Thursday, in the worst violence since the unrest began, police opened fire on protesters who were occupying Independence Square in central Kiev. The health ministry says 77 people - both protesters and police - have been killed since Tuesday.

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Maybe this time it will last


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/22/2014 at 02:40 PM   
Filed Under: • EUro-peons •  
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