Predictably, the EU mediated ‘truce deal’ in Kiev collapsed before the ink dried on it, in the same manner that the Libyan truce deal in 2011, mediated by Russian diplomats, was disrupted by NATO warplanes within hours, resulting in Libya’s downfall to NATO – Al Qaeda forces. It seems like the Russians were caught off guard once again, and the Balkanization process of Ukraine, which we scooped a few days ago is now in full mode as the president allegedly fled the scene to his Eastern stronghold, whereas NATO’s Nazi mercenaries reinforce their control over the western districts, and the Liberal dupes continue to reek havoc on Kiev itself.
It remains to be seen if Russian military intervention is imminent, and if so – what will be the consequences.
For background,see this previous report: Ukraine already Balkanized as western region taken over by NATO’s Nazi merceneries, and take a look at those Russian (RT) and Israeli (Debka) news analyses of the developing situation below:
(Update 03/06/2014: the above was quoted by CNN’s David Speedie, in an article titled “Rein in Ukraine’s Neo-Fascists“, so it seemd like Osnet Daily is beginning to make a difference even in the mainstream.)
Ukraine downfall: President’s whereabouts uncertain as opposition push for resignation
The whereabouts of Ukrainian President Yanukovich are unknown a day after he agreed to opposition demands. Parliament is trying to replace its resigned speaker to push for presidential resignation and an early election.
Ukraine remains chaotic amid the worst political crisis the country has seen in modern history. Viktor Yanukovich has gone missing, with even his immediate staff declining to say where he is.
The presidential residence in Kiev has been abandoned and left virtually unguarded. Some media reports said on Friday that the residents had packed up and left.
Some media reports suggest that Yanukovich is in Kharkov, a city in Eastern Ukraine, which is a stronghold of his Party of Regions. The president is supposedly going to take part in a summit of members of regional parliaments from Eastern and Southern Ukraine. The emergency gathering will be discussing the ongoing crisis and the strategy the Euromaidan-skeptical regions will follow after the opposition gains in Kiev and in the west of the country.
Neither presidential staff nor local authorities in Kharkov confirmed Yanukovich’s visit. The local airport said the presidential plane had not landed there.
Meanwhile in Kiev, the Ukrainian Parliament gathered for a new emergency session. The session started with an announcement that Speaker Vladimir Rybak and First Deputy Speaker Igor Kaletnik have both resigned.
The Party of Regions faction in the parliament lost eight more members on Saturday, as MPs rushed to abandon the sinking ruling coalition. Over the past few days, a total of 34 parliamentarians announced they were parting ways with Yanukovich’s government.
Opposition parties are pushing for adoption of a resolution demanding that Yanukovich resigns the office of the president. If he submits, Ukraine would have to hold early an presidential election by May 25.
Due to the president’s absence, the bills passed by the parliament on Friday have not been passed into law from a technical point of view, because Yanukovich never signed them. Opposition leader, Arseny Yatsenyuk, told fellow MPs that this gives grounds for the president’s resignation.
The bills, previously agreed to by the president and opposition leaders, include a constitutional reform, which strips the presidential office of a lot of power in favor of the parliament, forming a national unity government and holding early parliamentary election.
The opposition-dominated parliament is also seeking Yanukovich’s impeachment and a criminal code reform, which would annul the sentence of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
Tymoshenko, currently serving a prison term for overstepping her authority in signing an unfavorably gas deal with Russia, is one of the most adamant critics of the president. During the three months of the confrontation, she called on her supporters to put more pressure on Yanukovich and force him out of power.
On the ground the governmental area of Kiev is under complete opposition control. In a sharp contrast to the deadly confrontation of just days before, there is no police presence in the center of the capital. Opposition fighters are calling on police officers to join their ranks and patrol the streets as members of the “Maidan self-defense force.”
Yanukovych leaves Kiev. Opposition leaders lose control of hard-core protesters
Saturday, Feb. 22, saw the unraveling of the deal clinched less than 24 hours earlier between Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders – with the help of three EU foreign ministers – for ending their deadly three-month stand-off. As thousands of hard-core protesters refused to abandon their barricades in Kiev’s central square Saturday, the president left the capital for an unknown destination.
In the face of the protesters’ boos, opposition leader Vitali Klitschko backed out of the Friday deal and took up their call for Yanukovych’s immediate resignation. The protesters claimed to have seized control of the president’s office and security guards were withdrawn from his residence.
Klitschko then sought a parliament resolution calling for Yanukovych to step down at once and an early election on May 25, instead of December as they had agreed earlier. The Speaker, a key supporter of the president, resigned.
The missing president is reported to be still in Ukraine. An aide says he has no intention of leaving the country. Opposition leaders, divided among themselves, appear to have lost control of the hard-core protesters and bowed to their determination to keep the fires of resistance to Yanukovych rule going at full blast.
As the crisis again threatened to career out of control, Ukrainians were asking in desperation: Where is the popular former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko? The Yanukovych regime has kept her in jail for two years. Her release was ceded in the deal he concluded with the opposition Friday, but so far this has not happened.
Our Ukraine specialists say that if she were free, she would occupy center stage of the protest movement as the most credible opposition leader, a role which none of the incumbents would be happy to relinquish. But behind bars, Timoshenko is available for the president to whip out as a high card as his confrontation with the opposition enters its next stage. It also indicates that he still exercises control over events in Kiev.
The issues between Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych and opposition protesters led by Vitaly Klitschko, which spiraled Thursday, Feb. 20, into gun battles with live rounds, appear at first glance to be black and white – but that is true only up to a point. Is Ukraine clearly divided between pro-Russian and pro-European factions? That too is an over-simplification – much like the determination that US President Barack Obama’s backing for the protesters, countered by President Vladimir Putin’s support for Yanukovych, is the genesis of a new cold war.
Both Obama and Putin have kept their intervention in the Ukraine conflict low key. Obama has no inclination to challenge Putin, at the risk of losing his understandings with Iran and a free ride out of the Middle East by courtesy of Russia’s entry.
Neither does the US president want to be dragged into European affairs after he and three of his predecessors in the White House expended considerable energy on disassociating America from the continent and pivoting the US eastward.
The bloody confrontations in Maidan Square (renamed Independence Square by the protesters) were for him an unnecessary distraction from his chosen course. His warning of “consequences if people step over the line” was meant to sound grave, but people remembered his warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad seven months ago since when Assad is still going strong.
Vice President Joe Biden could not have expected his demand to pull security police back from the embattled Kiev square be taken seriously by that President Yanukovych, because it would have amounted to his capitulation and handover of rule to the protesters after three months of strife.
Putin has also been careful to skirt the conflict. Although he promised the Ukraine president $15 bn in economic aid and cheap Russian gas, he has not so far laid out a single dollar or ruble. Neither has he stepped forward to mediate dispute, leaving the task to the European Union, which sent the French, German and Polish foreign ministers to Kiev to broker a deal for ending the clashes.
On the ground, casualties soared and armed gunmen went into action Thursday, Feb. 20, raising the conflict to its most violent stage hitherto. Although neither side is likely to admit this, the escalation was not spontaneous; it happened after both quietly threw bands of armed, out-of-control radicals into the fray in order to finally end the standoff.
Yanukovich enlisted Ukraine nationalist extremists, some of them fervently pro-Russian, from the eastern provinces, where more than half of the 46-million strong population is Russian-speaking and close to Moscow.
The opposition rounded up armed radicals from the west, a part of Ukraine which a century ago was under Polish, then Austro-Hungarian rule. Here, Russian is not spoken and Moscow is anathema. These gangs seized the barricades in Independence Square.
The gunfire across the square Thursday came from the shooting between the warring camps of radicals. They also accounted for most of the fatalities.
Friday morning, Ukraine’s Health Ministry said 75 people had died and more than 570 were injured in the violent clashes in the capital this week.
After this explosion of violence, both sides understood that an agreement could not longer be postponed, both to stop the bloodshed and to prevent the armed radicals taking over and throwing Ukraine into full-blown civil war.
Neither Yanukovych nor Klitshko was prepared to let this happen.
Amid a shaky calm in Kiev Friday morning, President Yanukovych announced that all-night talks with the opposition, led by Klitschko and assisted by the European mediators, had culminated in an agreement to resolve the crisis.
Before this was confirmed by the opposition or the European ministers, the president’s office revealed that it centered on his consent to an early general election in December and the formation of a coalition within 10 days – provided that the violent protest was halted and order restored to the capital. Some Kiev sources added that Yanokovych has agreed to constitutional reforms for reducing presidential powers.
In the electric atmosphere in the Ukrainian capital, it is to soon to evaluate the life expectancy of this agreement or determine whether the two parties are capable of getting past their differences and forming a working coalition government.