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22.01.2014

Oleksandra Delemenchuk: Ukraine is step from civil war 1

16:54, — Politics

Oleksandra Delemenchuk: Ukraine is step from civil war

Oleksandra Delemenchuk, a coordinator for international programmes at the Centre for Civil Liberties of Ukraine, discussed the latest events in Kyiv with charter97.org.

What is happening in Ukraine now? Is it war?

We are, in fact, a few steps from a possible civil war. There are killed people, many are injured. Armoured vehicles are being used against people. The country's so called authorities demonstrate a very aggressive rhetoric calling protesters terrorists who must be punished. No intentions to start a dialogue or reconciliation are seen.

Viktor Yanukovych is having a meeting with opposition leaders. How can it end?

We already saw it. Yanukovych promised a dialogue, but adopted the 'laws on dictatorship' instead. The person, who is considered to be responsible for a brutal crackdown on students on November 30, was appointed head of the negotiation group. Neither I nor my colleagues have hopes for the negotiation. There are fears that the opposition leaders may be arrested during the talks.

Leaders of states and international organisations say they are shocked by the events in Kyiv. Did you expect such developments?

No. I didn't expect the first dispersal of students' rally, gas, stun grenades, a torn-off hand, removed eyes. I didn't expect these things and killings. I think we can expect everything now.

Why did violence become possible?

There are many reasons, both internal and external. The internal ones are that powerful protests showed top officials they have little chance of preserving power. That's why they needed the steps to suffocate civil protests. There also were external political reasons connected with Russia's influence on the Eastern Partnership countries and interference with their domestic affairs.

How should the international community react to the events in Kyiv?

Firstly, they shouldn't express their deep concern, because only this provokes aggressive reactions from people. Particular actions are needed.

Sanctions against those responsible for the dispersal is a good example of such actions. We welcome the visit of European Commissioner Štefan Füle and the EP delegation on Friday. We hope they will be able to facilitate a dialogue between the sides involved in the conflict. We need Yanukovych to stop bluffing.


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