23 January, 18:11

Events in Ukraine are coup attempt, early presidential elections impossible - PM Azarov

Events in Ukraine are coup attempt, early presidential elections impossible - PM Azarov

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said he is convinced that what is now happening in Ukraine is a coup attempt. Azarov also said that it is absolutely unrealistic to hold early presidential elections in the country now.

"The building of the Cabinet of Ministers is under siege and the building of the Lviv region's administration has been taken over. The people who are fighting against us are militants, not the opposition. These are different things," said Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov.

"It's a real coup attempt, and everyone who backs this coup should clearly say 'Yes, we support the overthrowing of the lawful administration in Ukraine,' instead of hiding behind peaceful protesters. The line was crossed when the so-called peaceful protesters started using 'Molotov cocktails and taking over state buildings," Azarov told reporters in Davos, responding to a question as to whether the current actions taken by the opposition interfere with the work of the Ukrainian administration.

Photo: EPA

Azarov also said he is convinced that it is absolutely unrealistic to hold early presidential elections in Ukraine now.

"It's absolutely unrealistic because the next elections are due in less than a year. Do you think we can hold elections when the central part of Kiev has virtually been occupied by militants? What elections can we talk about when people are rioting?" he said.

Azarov reiterated that it is necessary to first stabilize the situation in the country and return to normal life.

"Then we can speak about anything, and now the first thing we need to do is organize normal life in the country," Azarov said.

Photo: EPA

Kiev protesters, police agree on temporary truce

Kiev protesters and the police have agreed on a temporary truce until 8pm local time on Thursday at the request of UDAR party leader Vitaly Klitschko.

The politician said he would inform the demonstrators about results of the negotiations between the opposition leaders and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych by then.

Photo: EPA

The protesters have stopped throwing stones at the policemen on Grushevsky Street, an Interfax correspondent reports.

Klitschko came to the corner barricade at 4, Grushevsky Street and urged the sides to suspend the confrontation for the period of the negotiations.

"I will return to you by 8 o'clock and report on the negotiations [between the opposition and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych]," Klitschko said.

The protesters and the law enforcers agreed to the truce proposition and promised not to hold active operations during the negotiations. There will be no attacks until 8 pm, both sides in the confrontation said.

Photo: EPA

Thousands gather at US embassy in Kiev, demand to stop financing violent clashes in city

Several thousand demonstrators gathered around the US embassy in central Kiev demanding the American government to stop financing mass protests and clashes with the police.

“The US is behind everything that is happening in Kiev’s downtown right now. The financing is coming from over there. This has to be stopped. That is what we came out here to say to the whole world: ‘US - stop! US - there needs to be peace in Ukraine,’” said Ivan Protsenko, one of the demonstrators’ leaders.

Meanwhile, central Kiev was turned into a warzone. Smoke is visible over barricades in the heart of Kiev as riot police have moved in on the protest camp after the rally escalated into a clash between opposition activists and Ukraine’s special troops.

Protesters are reportedly pelting the baton-wielding police officers with stones and Molotov cocktails, while the latter are answering in kind with tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets.

About two hundreds of protesters and police troops have been injured in violent standoffs as clashes continue.

Reporters say it is getting harder to breathe for all the smoke that’s going off burning car tires that the raving mob set alight underneath the Dinamo stadium.

On Thursday, the riot police managed to break up protesters’ ranks and started to dismantle makeshift barricades. And yet many protesters lingered in downtown Kiev and still refuse to leave the site. According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, a total of 195 law enforcement officers sought medical help after disturbances on Grushevsky Street in central Kiev, 84 of them have been hospitalized.

Voice of Russia, Interfax

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