News / Europe

Ukraine Opposition Cool to Power-sharing Offer

Vitali Klitschko, Head of UDAR (Punch) party, left, Oleh Tyagnybok, head of the Svoboda party, center, and Arseniy Yatsenyuk of the Batkivchchyna party attend meeting on Independence Square, Kyiv, Jan. 25, 2014.
Vitali Klitschko, Head of UDAR (Punch) party, left, Oleh Tyagnybok, head of the Svoboda party, center, and Arseniy Yatsenyuk of the Batkivchchyna party attend meeting on Independence Square, Kyiv, Jan. 25, 2014.
TEXT SIZE - +
— Police and protesters clashed overnight in Ukraine, hours after embattled President Viktor Yanukovych tried to ease tensions by offering key government posts to two top opposition leaders.

Reuters reported that one of the president's main foes described the offer as a "poisoned" attempt to kill off a protest movement in a country plunged into unrest by Yanukovich's U-turn from the European Union towards Russia.

On Saturday, Yanukovych offered the position of prime minister to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, one of the leaders of the political opposition, which has waged two months of anti-government protests. Opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko, a former international boxing champion, was offered the post of deputy prime minister responsible for humanitarian issues.

News of the offer appeared Saturday on the president's website, a day after he agreed to re-shuffle his government and amend controversial new anti-protest laws.

According to Reuters, Klitschko told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, "This was a poisoned offer by Yanukovich to divide our protest movement. We will keep on negotiating and continue to demand early elections. The protest by Ukrainians against the corrupt president must not have been in vain."

A large crowd of protesters blocked a government building with police inside early Sunday in central Kyiv. Demonstrators threw stones and smoke bombs. Police responded with stun grenades and tear gas.

Speaking to a large crowd Saturday in Kiev's Independence Square, Yatsenyuk said the opposition is "not afraid" of accepting more political responsibility, but that Yanukovych must still meet several key opposition demands and that talks will continue.

Klitschko joined Yatsenyuk Saturday, saying Yanukovych has agreed to opposition demands, including the release of arrested protesters and the rescinding of recent changes to the constitution. Klitschko said, however, the protests will not stop.

The opposition has demanded that both Yanukovych and Ukraine's number two leader, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, step down. Protesters have also called for early elections.

The crisis was spawned by Yanukovych's November 21 decision to back out of a trade agreement with the European Union in favor of closer economic ties with Russia.

The decision resulted in a multi-billion-dollar bailout from Moscow that analysts say staved off near-certain bankruptcy for the impoverished country. But pro-European protesters were angered by the turn toward Moscow and took to the streets of the capital, Kyiv, where they have maintained a presence ever since.

The protests have spawned deadly clashes between protesters and police.

On Saturday, the opposition denied allegations that protesters are holding two police officers in Kyiv's occupied city hall.

Ukrainian officials have warned protesters to release the officers or face police action to free them.

Witnesses say the protest movement appears to have been infiltrated in recent weeks by members of a violent far-right militant group known as Right Sector, a loose alliance of nationalist organizations. The presence of the group adds a volatile element to the standoff that analysts say both the government and the mainstream opposition are struggling to contend with.

Anti-government forces were also occupying at least six regional capitals after storming government facilities across a wide swath of western Ukraine.

Protesters Reinforce Barricades As Ukraine Talks Break Downi
X
January 24, 2014 7:27 PM
Talks between the Ukrainian president and the opposition aimed at ending days of violent anti-government protests appear to have broken down without agreement. The demonstrations erupted two months ago after President Yanukovich refused to sign an agreement bringing the country closer to the European Union - instead opting to sign deals with Russia. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

James Brooke

A foreign correspondent who has reported from five continents, Brooke, known universally as Jim, is the Voice of America bureau chief for Russia and former Soviet Union countries. From his base in Moscow, Jim roams Russia and Russia’s southern neighbors.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Juan Valdez from: USA
January 26, 2014 10:45 AM
God speed to you Vasily. We Americans support freedom from tyranny but we are tired of butting in to other people's problems.


by: Tom Hyde from: Salem Oregon USA
January 26, 2014 8:01 AM
Don't equate power sharing with the offer of being a minister. In Ukraine all the power is in the president.


by: Anonymous
January 26, 2014 7:34 AM
So if this was USA or Uk and demonstrators stormed govt buildings would the authorities stand by and do nothing? Yanukovich is the democratically elected leader. If people dont like his pro Russia policys then vote him out next year. Thats REAL democracy. Not threats and rioting on the streets.

In Response

by: Alex from: Canada
January 26, 2014 4:47 PM
actually people do not decide anything anywhere especially in Ukraine.
USA and EU decided to get rid of Yanukovich as they usually do in all over the world. Besides if they let people to vote they may re elect Yanukovich again. Revolution is the only way and it is another reason for opposition not accept any compromises.

In Response

by: Tom Hyde from: Salem Oregon
January 26, 2014 1:49 PM
Some of the people of Ukraine have decided they do not want to wait until the next scheduled election. Therefore they are protesting. This is their way of impeaching the president.


by: alex from: Canada
January 26, 2014 2:14 AM
VOA good job.
You successfully removed my posts. That is how you brainwash people. You publish false reports.


by: Arthur from: Kiev
January 26, 2014 1:55 AM
Don't turn your back on Ukrainians people. We need your help. We are one nation in former USSR who restricted Moscow influence and want more ties with EU and USA.

In Response

by: Alex from: Canada
January 26, 2014 4:58 PM
Yes, please. Keep pouring money into this insanity. Keep supporting fascists. Keep listening to those who are the same criminals as the current government just paid by US and EU.


by: Alex from: Canada
January 26, 2014 1:53 AM
Who is Who

1. Klichko lived in Germany for the past 10 years. For 2013 he actually paid USA taxes which means that he lives in USA now. He also has SSN ( social security number).
He is a boxer with 23 years of experience. 15 years in professional box. He does not have brains to act by himself. Have you ever seen a boxer with live brain cells after so many years in box.

2. Fascist Oleh Tyahnybok. He was awarded Waffen - SS and SS-Galitchina golden cross in 2011 while visiting Canada. He calls to get rid of none Ukrainians. On July 20, 2004, Tyahnybok was expelled from the Ukraine parliamentary after he made a speech in the Carpathian Mountains where he called Ukrainians "to take automatic guns and fight against Moskali ( Russians), Germans, *** ( Jews) and other scum"
Besides he demands to introduce the paragraph called nationality in Ukrainian passport so that non Ukrainians will not be accepted into government jobs.

3. Current president front man for Eastern Ukraine mafia. Currently he does not have any criminal records but had two in the past when he was 17th years old and a little over 20. Those were mostly hooligans acts. Many people did similar staff at that time but he got caught twice. I said he is not smart.

4. Julia Timoshenko front man for Central Ukraine mafia. Her previous boss was arrested and jailed in US for 10 years. (Pavel Lazarenko). She was his deputy and the first assistant. She was also charged with bribery when tried to bribe a general in Russian ministry of defense. She signed gas deal with Russia so that Russia would drop charges against her. This deal costs Ukraine extra $800 million a month.

All the other jerks are close to the west and central mafia groups.

This is a political landscape in Ukraine.

In Response

by: Tom from: Salem Oregon
January 26, 2014 4:32 PM
Some of them are making mistakes but they are out there doing what they believe in. Not sitting on the couch just calling all the rest jerks.


by: Anonymous
January 25, 2014 11:35 PM
I'm surprised that no one from VOA points out how cynical and frivolous was the offer by Yanokovych. Under the system that he and his cronies pushed through, only the president has any power. he would just try to eliminate his two main political competitors. the economy and the government budget are in terrible shape. How convenient to then blame Yatseniuk once the country goes bankrupt. and to hide Klitschko in a useless job, how clever.


by: a friend from: above
January 25, 2014 6:21 PM
Vasily, in your previous thread you mentioned a lot of weapons streaming through the East of Ukraine and into the streets, implying that they are coming from the Russian side... did you managed to find out who were bringing those weapons, and who is paying for them? please, Vasily, this is very important to US... could you send the serial number of the weapons.

In Response

by: Ryb from: boston
January 26, 2014 9:25 AM
Martina, you're so clueless you make me laugh, look up Switzerland and their gun laws...

In Response

by: jim brooke from: kyiv
January 26, 2014 12:57 AM
Marina,
if Americans make you laugh, what do Russians do?
it is interesting that the NATO alliance makes you secure enough to make silly gratuitous comments about Americans. Where would Lithuania be without NATO, and where would be NATO without the United States? Given the isolationist mood in the United States and the expansionist mood in the Kremlin, you might think of cutting back on taking silly stereotypical swipes at your primary protectors. You are not living in Portugal...

In Response

by: Martina Volodya from: Lithuania
January 25, 2014 7:02 PM
I doubt if they would even know where to look... the first thing a Communist dictatorship does is confiscate all personal weapons of citizens...
Americans, you make me laugh, you think that all the world is like you, where everyone can get access to personal weapon... let me tell you, that only very few Government in world allow their citizens to have weapons - I can think of only two - you and Israel... very few Government even trust their citizen to vote...


by: Ombaluma from: Kenya
January 25, 2014 5:35 PM
hey Vasily, one would have thought that if Obama is willing to finance Al Qaeda in Syria through Libya, he would be willing to offer some form of help to you guys... Oh, sorry, my mistake, you are Christians...
now, if you were the Muslims Brotherhood... I am sure Obanga would have been right there - behind you... very far behind you...


by: concerned bystander from: usa
January 25, 2014 4:36 PM
Vasily,

I am an American photographer trying to get to Kiev to document these events. If not too much trouble, could you contact me? altprint0 at gmail. Thanks, and much luck to you!

In Response

by: Anonymous
January 26, 2014 2:07 PM
http://ny.mfa.gov.ua/en/consular-affairs/services/visas
you do not need visa to Ukraine if you an American citizen

In Response

by: Massarich from: Germany
January 25, 2014 5:21 PM
many of us have tried to get in touch with them, but Ukraine have stopped all visas especially to Americans and "Westerners" in general. you can get access to the region if you have a Russian passport and a lot of money to pay bribes... the region is collapsing - you can't trust anyone there, the "police" is not what you are used to... they are mainly Russians and the "protestors" are native Ukrainians... and the hatred between the two goes back a long time...

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid