Live Blog: Kyiv Protests Continue As Deadlines Loom
Security forces have begun removing protesters' barricades in Kyiv, while President Yanukovych calls for a "national roundtable" with government and opposition representatives.
December 09, 2013
Standoff Between Protesters, Police In Kyiv
Final Post (barring major developments)
--December 8 live blog here
-- President Viktor Yanukovych announced he had accepted a plan to hold a "national roundtable" with the opposition. In a statement
on his official website, he said he plans on meeting with the three former Ukrainian presidents on December 10.
-- Towards early evening, riot police surrounded several protests encampments near the government quarter, beginning the process of taking down barricades and encampments. Protesters and police are now locked in standoff as police slowly reclaim territory.
-- Security forces raided the offices of the Batkivschyna (Fatherland) political party of Yulia Tymoshenko, taking the party's servers. The Interior Ministry issued a statement later, saying they were investigating fraudulent claims to property.
-- The raid and the moves to tear down protest camps have prompted indignation from the West. U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden "expressed deep concern" in a phone call with Yanukovych. EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, who is flying to Kyiv on Tuesday, said the events "seriously risk" derailing a chance at compromise.
Ashton releases a statement
just hours before her scheduled trip to Ukraine:
"On the eve of my visit to Kyiv, I follow with concern the reports that police forces forcibly entered the office of the biggest opposition party, Batkivshchyna. This comes on the afternoon of the same day that President Yanukovych proposed the establishment of a national roundtable, bringing together the leaders of all political forces and the three former Presidents of Ukraine. These latest events seriously risk to derail the process. I call on the Ukrainian authorities to exercise utmost restraint and refrain from any further use of force, in order to give space for a negotiated solution out of the current political stalemate."
Video on Ukrainian TV of police removing barricades.
Freedom House, a U.S. based watchdog, says that Yanukovych should resign
from the Office of Vice President Joe Biden:
In a phone call today with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych
, Vice President Biden expressed his deep concern about the situation in Ukraine and the growing potential for violence. The Vice President underscored the need to immediately de-escalate the situation and begin a dialogue with opposition leaders on developing a consensus way forward for Ukraine. He noted that violence has no place in a democratic society and is incompatible with our strategic relationship. The Vice President reaffirmed the strong support of the United States for Ukraine’s European aspirations and welcomed President Yanukovych’s commitment to maintaining this path. He underscored the close alignment of the United States and the European Union, and welcomed the upcoming visits of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton
and State Department Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland
Reuters reports that U.S. Vice President Biden tells Yanukovych: "Violence has no place in a democratic society and is incompatible with our strategic relationship."
From earlier in the evening, Vitali Klitschko negotiating with riot police.