News / Europe

Ukraine Justice Minister Threatens State of Emergency

  • An opposition supporter looks on as he warms himself next to a fire in a barricade near Kyiv's Independence Square, Jan. 31, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters march in central Kyiv, Jan. 31, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters march in central Kyiv, Jan. 31, 2014.
  • An opposition supporter stands next to a burning tire at a barricade in central Kyiv, Jan. 30, 2014.
  • Riot police stand in a cordon facing anti-government protesters as temperatures stand at minus 20 degrees Celsius at a barricade near Independence Square in Kyiv, Jan. 30, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters walk in the tent city at Independence Square in Kyiv, Jan. 30, 2014.
  • Protesters, with signs reading "Mother" on their chests, and ""The government don't kill our children," walk away from a police cordon in central Kyiv, Jan. 30, 2014.
  • Members of various anti-government paramilitary groups walk in formation during a show of force in Kyiv, Jan. 29, 2014. 
  • Members of various anti-government paramilitary groups attend a religious service at a chapel in Kyiv, Jan. 29, 2014. 
  • A protest camp in Independence Square, Kyiv, Jan. 28, 2014. (H. Ridgwell/VOA)
  • Protest camps in Independence Square, Kyiv, Jan. 28, 2013. (H. Ridgwell/VOA)
Protests in Kyiv
VOA News
Ukraine's justice minister has threatened to declare a state of emergency if protesters do not leave the justice ministry in Kyiv, which they seized late Sunday.

In a television appearance on Monday, Justice Minister Olena Lukash also warned that she would ask for talks between the opposition and President Viktor Yanukovych to be ended if the building is not returned to the government.

Opposition leaders have said Yanukovych's offer, to name protest leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk of the Fatherland Party prime minister and former boxing champion and leader of the UDAR party, Vitaly Klitschko, his deputy, is not enough to end the demonstrations, which are now spreading eastwards into parts of Ukraine considered to be in support of the president.

Yatsenyuk told a crowd that the opposition is "not afraid" of accepting more political responsibility, but Yanukovych still has to meet several demands. They include early elections, freedom for jailed protesters, and the repeal of anti-protest laws.

Marchers took to the streets in late November, after Yanukovych backed out of a trade deal with the European Union in favor of closer ties to Russia.

Protesters Barricade the Ministry of JusticeProtesters Barricade the Ministry of Justice

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by: Don Walker from: Lexington, Kentucky USA
January 27, 2014 12:41 PM
I told you so...this would have never had happened, if we did not cut our State Department programs in our Foreign Embassies.

by: Eugene Hinz from: India
January 27, 2014 4:52 AM
Shows you how stupid and inept the Present Govt. of Ukraine is. People are protesting to seek justice from the Govt. and the Minister for justice is threatening the people with a state of emergency. Like that will improve the situation. Maybe she is just upset and wants her office space back. I guess that foolish actions come from foolish people appointed by a foolish President. Time the leadership packed its bags and moved on to Cyprus where the squirreled away the money they stole from the country and leave it to someone else to sort out the mess they created. Or maybe join their mate in Syria. He could possibly use the support of some inept like minded people.

by: Vera Ruslava from: Russia
January 27, 2014 3:51 AM
VOA, for your information... this revolution is beginning to spread into Russia... there is no stopping this... its exactly what Vasily from Ukraine has said will happen

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