Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Ukraine

Beyond Kyiv: Ukrainian Protesters Seize Control Of Regional Administrations

Burning tires are prepared in an effort to block the international E40 highway in Ukraine.
Burning tires are prepared in an effort to block the international E40 highway in Ukraine.

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By RFE/RL
Protests are spreading to Ukraine's regions with demonstrators seizing control of administrative buildings and, in some cases, forcing governors, who are appointed by President Viktor Yanukovych, to resign. In some cases, particularly in western Ukraine, they are meeting little -- if any -- resistance from police. In some western regions, elected regional councils, which are often dominated by the opposition, are passing legislation in support of Euromaidan protesters. The situation is fluid and is developing rapidly. Below is a brief rundown, compiled from Ukrainian media reports, of some of the key regions where protesters have seized control of regional administration buildings.

Lviv Oblast -- On January 25, the regional legislature in Lviv, western Ukraine, passed a measure disbanding the office of the regional governor and banning police, military, and security services from using force to disband protests. Chanting "revolution," protesters on January 23 stormed and seized control of Lviv's regional administration and forced the governor, Oleh Salo, who was appointed by Yanukovych, to write a statement of resignation. Protesters built barricades around the administration building and hundreds camped out inside.​

Ternopil Oblast -- In the western region of Ternopil, which neighbors Lviv Oblast, protesters seized control of the Ternopil regional administration with little resistance from police.

Rivnenska Oblast -- In the northwestern Rivnenska Oblast approximately 2,000 people faced little resistance from police as they seized the regional administration building on January 23. Anatoliy Yukhimenko, acting head of the regional administration, resigned shortly thereafter.

Khmelnytskyy Oblast -- After 30 minutes of clashes with police on January 24, protesters in Khmelnytskyy Oblast, located to the south of Rivnenska, seized control of the regional administration building. After negotiations between Yuriy Smal, a leader of the local Euromaidan movement, and regional authorities, Governor Vasiliy Yadukha resigned.





Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast -- Approximately 4,000 people on January 25 stormed and occupied the regional administration building in Ivano-Frankivsk in western Ukraine. On January 24, about 1,000 protesters held a vigil outside the building and demanded that the governor, Vasily Chudnova, resign, but he has thus far refused.

Chernivtsi Oblast -- Thousands of protesters on January 24 stormed and occupied the regional administration building in Chernivtsi, near the Ukrainian-Romanian border, and forced Governor Mykhaylo Papiev to tender his resignation.

Volynska Oblast -- Governor Boris Klimchuk resigned on January 24 after more than 1,000 protesters marched on and surrounded the Volynska administration building in the regional capital, Lutsk, in northwestern Ukraine. When a protest leader asked police guarding the building to stand back, one officer replied, "We are Ukrainians --we are with the people." The protester and the officer then embraced. Police then allowed demonstrators to enter the building.

Vinnytska Oblast -- Protesters in Vinnytsia, in western Ukraine, occupied the regional administration building and the parliament on January 25. They have barricaded the buildings to prevent police raids. On January 26, a local judge formally resigned in front of journalists in one of the occupied buildings.

Poltavska Oblast -- The regional legislature in Poltava in eastern Ukraine has been occupied since January 25. Demonstrators, who raided the building armed with rods, have demanded the resignation of regional governor Oleksandr Udovichenko.

Zhytomyrska Oblast -- Thousands of protesters stormed the regional administration building in Zhytomyr, west of Kyiv, on January 23, demanding that city Mayor Volodymyr Debo and the regional Governor Serhiy Rizhuk step down. Demonstrators also blocked a street connecting the mayor's office to the regional administration building.


PHOTO GALLERY: Protests Spread Beyond Kyiv
  • Burning tires are piled up on the motorway to block the international E40 highway in Novoyavorivsk.
  • Antigovernment protesters clash with riot police at the regional administration headquarters in the town of Vinnytsia, some 200 kilometers southwest of Kyiv.
  • Antigovernment protesters at the regional administration headquarters in the town of Vinnytsia
  • Antigovernment protesters hold a rally near the regional administration headquarters in Vinnytsia.
  • A protester warms himself near a fire at a barricade close to the regional administration building in Lviv.
  • A protester stands on a barricade in downtown Kyiv.
  • A protester protects himself from a fire as he sits on the roof of a burned-out bus in downtown Kyiv.
  • Antigovernment protesters gather at a barricade at the site of earlier clashes with riot police in Kyiv.
  • In the town of Chernivtsi in southwestern Ukraine, antigovernment protesters gather outside the regional administration headquarters, with police standing guard.
  • Protesters enter Chernivtsi's regional administration headquarters.
  • In the town of Ivano-Frankivsk, a police officer bows his head as he leaves the regional administration headquarters, which protesters attempted to take over.

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