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10.12.2013

Ukrainian expert: Yanukovych wants to stifle protests by economical measures 14

14:45, — Politics
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Ukrainian expert: Yanukovych wants to stifle protests by economical measures

The Ukrainian authorities don't take violent actions in fear of counter-violence.

Andrei Zolotarev, the head of the analytical centre The Third Sector, spoke to charter97.org about the night crackdown on protesters in Kyiv.

The opposition apparently decided on Sunday that Yanukovych wasn't in the country, but yesterday, he gave the opposition an opportunity to feel cold. The opposition made its move on Sunday, set up barricades and blocked the government quarter. The authorities made its move on Monday by blocking the opposition and, in fact, cordoning off the city centre. On the night from Monday to Tuesday, the authorities used the internal troops to dismantle most of the barricades and reduce the protests to the level of December 1. The sides returned to their starting positions. The authorities now try to use the tactics of stifling protests by economic measures by blocking roads used for delivering food to demonstrators. Protesters have food for three or four days counting on the help from Kyiv residents at the weekend. It's worth noting that this time the authorities used internal troops and the tactics of non-violent pushing protesters back from their positions that probably was adopted from their western colleagues, the expert noted.

The politologist is convinced Ukraine is in a stalemate.

The authorities can't use violence, because it will destabilise the situation and can lead to counter-violence. It will create problems with the western regions and the EU. They authorities are afraid of this variant, and do nothing. The opposition leaders, for their part, fear to take more radical actions. On the other hand, radical activists stand behind moderate party leaders. According to a new poll, 70% of protesters are ready to remain on the square as long as needed. This is rather serious. We saw yesterday that activists were firm and acted in an organised manner in spite of cold and snow. Taking into account the stalemate and Yanukovych's reluctance to resign, the only possible variant for the opposition is to explain to its supporters that talks and roundtable discussions with the authorities are needed, Andrei Zolotarev thinks.

The analysts emphasised the essence of the situation: If people had supported the opposition, the regime would have fallen.

The problem is that the opposition doesn't lead the masses and doesn't adapt to the agenda proposed by society. Society is totally against the authorities. In this situation, changes in the rules of a dialogue between political elites and society are more important than rotation of political elites, as it was during the Orange Revolution. In today's Ukraine the split is not horizontal the authorities against the opposition, but vertical society against the authorities, the politologist said.

Berkut riot police and interior troops dismantled barricades in the government quarter in Kyiv at night. The special operation began at 2 a.m. (Belarusian time) and lasted for three hours. Barricades on the corner of Grushevskaya Street and Krepostnoy Lane (Batkivshchina), on the corner of Shelkovichnaya and Bogomolets Street (UDAR) and on the corner of Kruglouniversitetskaya and Luteranskaya Streets (Svoboda) were dismantled.

The police divided protesters into groups, pushed them back and gave way to provocateurs, so called titushki, who took down tents and barricades. Demonstrators didn't resist. Most of them returned to the square later. Protesters promised to return and set up barricades again.

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