REVOLT IN UKRAINE: UPRISING CHALLENGES YANUKOVICH KLEPTOCRACY
UPDATED Mar 7 5pm CRIMEA INVASION!
Violent protester hurling paving stone at police behind torched police bus barricade 11:46pm Jan 19, Hrushevskogo St., Kiev Michael Hammerschlag©2014
Did big article
on the genesis of this protest here, where I predicted Yanukovich wouldn't sign EU deal- for 3 weeks all signs were bad- apparently he was just playing Russia, EU, and his downtrodden people the whole time.
COUNTDOWN: LAST CHANCE FOR UKRAINE - Yahoo News LOCAL (w pics)
KIEV: Ukraine at crossroads between East and West: join the Russian Eurasian Customs Union or sign the EU Association Agreement and Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) in Lithuania. Incredibly, after 15 years of negotiation, Pres. Yanukovich scotched the deal a week before.
MIKE ON NPR's On Point Nat. Radio Talk Show on INVASION @ 29:10`min 3:10 min Mar 4
VIDEO (YouTube) -2/23 12:07am VICTORYexplained by Michael Hammerschlag w Fireworks
VIDEO: UTUBE `HISTORIC VIDEO- Feb 9 4:55pm - Mike Tours Maidan Inter. Press Center- Trade Union- Interview w Foreign Euromaidan Sites manager Sviat Urash- 16min NOW BURNED
VIDEO ustream) same as above NOW BURNED
CNN IREPORT: Feb 24 PICS of FLOWER COVERED MAIDAN- memorials to the dead-1am
Audio- Protester Lyuba City Hall; Day of Takeovers + 400K rally Dec1 - 21s mp3
EUROMAIDAN site (english) - latest news, bulletins, from the Revolt
burning Dynamo ticket office Hrushevskogo Ul., Jan 19 23:59
Life continues bizarrely bifurcated in Kiev- on one hand, the stunning complete victory of Maidan is paying off- $15 bil from the EU (1 from US?), the EU AA signed within the month, the East swinging back to the center (fake Donetsk Governor Gubarov arrested); while at the same time, the Crimea seems lost forever. The Russian puppet Crimean Gov (Aksyanov's party got 3%) and the Parliament, after voting 78 of 100 to join Russia, may have made a big mistake in holding a referendum on it- they could easily lose (poll says 42% for), so the Ruskies will massively cheat, probably letting their invading troops and tourists vote, because losing would be catastrophic to Vlad. Crimeans are justifiably terrified that their tourist economy (70% Ukr) will be devastated by the occupation and conflict. The Gov Admin buildings in Donetsk, Kharkiv, Lugansk are back in Central Gov. hands and the public is turning against the Russian tourist tool demos.
"A new poll March 3, showed that only a third of Donetsk region residents believe that they should be part of Russia- In Luhansk and Odessa lower still, at 24 percent..Other supposedly pro-Russian regions -- Zaporyhzhia, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk -- have 16, 15 and 13 percent of supporters."
In a desperate move to consolidate power in threatened areas, the Oppo Gov appointed oligarchs Kolomoisky and Taruta to run Dneitropetrovsk and Donetsk regions, figuring their endless resources could pay for whatever muscle is needed to combat the Russian invaders (fake citizens that are fueling the protests). But is this why 100 people died, to appoint crooked oligarchs who will game the whole region for their advantage? Kolomoisky, head of biggest bank Privat, has been linked to Most of the raider attacks, where 100 thugs with clubs and zip guns invade a company, beat up and throw out the employees, and take it over, armed with a decision of some corrupt judge that THEY are the owners. Even Puitin said he had cheated Russian tycoon Abramov- Putin in another marathon press conference, actually displayed shockingly astute insights of the problems of Ukraine.Taruta is former director of Industrial Union of Donbass, since bought out by Russians.
The latest polls for Ukr President have Petro Poroshenko ahead, followed by Klitschko, and Tymo- Poro is a Batkivshina Deputy, worth $1 bil, and owner of Roshen Chocolates, Ch. 5 TV, and Leninsky Kuznya shipyard.
A huge false tempest was created by a tapped released (by Russians in RT) conversation between Estonian and EU foreign ministers where he accuses Organizers of hiring snipers to shoot militia AND protesters based on conversations w doctor Olga Bolgomolets, and how he dpesn't trust the new "dirty" Gov. based on his one day in Kiev talking to impossible to please Protesters (they did boo undistinguished Turchenov when the new Gov was displayed). First, the Russians are probably distorting and slanting this (though the Estonians confirmed it), second Slavs often confuse Subject + Object, so who is acting on who is inverted, 3rd this could simply be the flakiness of Olga, I think, to make that wild presumption that it was the Opposition, and an insane stretch by the Estonian to bnelieve her. Westerners report things as fact here, when people must understand that most Ukrainians are wildly speculative, obsessed w conspiracies, and sometimes foolish- connecting dots to make nonsense constellations.
It is totally consistent that Yanu or Russian snipers would kill policeman or Berkut: how better to cause rage and motivate them to completely crush Maidan? She even says it was the same bullet, the same signature, which means since the real prof. sniper were ALL on Gov side, THEY did it just to sow rage among the cops and militsia. Or is she saying that the Opposition was slaughtering Protesters- it's idiotic, and she should be ashamed her deductive powers are so weak as to spread such vicious rumors.
There is plenty of evidence that Russians were directing/and/or participating w the snipers. Supposedly a PoR guy checked in a Russian military team into a room at the Ukraine Hotel. If there is guilt look there.
The SBU/FSB do these kind of monstrous provocations all the time- we just saw how Putin apparently wanted Ukrs to kill some Russians so he could escalate things: "Are they shooting?? Are you provoking them?." See my witnessing and photo/video of caught provocateur below.
|Ukrainians watch presentation of new Gov Feb 26 8pm in Maidan - M.H.©2014|
Of course, some Protesters were shooting Berkut and militsia - I thought with hunting rifles. But a friend explained that single shot Mosin sniper rifles were plentiful and cheap 2-3 years ago- only $100, and many bought them, "How else did they stop that massive attack on Institutskaya" Feb 18-19. Maybe 13 militsia were killed Feb 18-20 vs about 70-80 protesters, so the real killers and defenders were obvious.
Marc 5: Putin has ordered soldiers back to base at the Ukr border- apparently it was all a feint designed to take attention OFF their Crimea takeover, which is now complete. Amazing that not one humiliated Ukr soldier has opened up on the invaders and the Gov has been so docile- it would be nice for Ukr honor that the Russians incur some costs for this outrage. But some Russian deaths are apparently wanted by Putin as a pretext for full Invasion, and Ukrs have been incredibly patient and stoic in avoiding them. The lie machine is in overdrive as the Kremlin tries to justify this. The Invasion continues apace- Obama has expressed deep bookish concern and will punish the Russians (with sanctions). But the Budapest Agreement where Ukr foolishly gave up her nukes guaranteed her territorial integrity, US UK, and Russia are SWORN to do that, not rape Ukraine!!! I always wondered esp w Ukraine when they would be sorry they did that- give up their Bomb. Ukraine has been procrastinating, pleading for moderation by their invader- Avakov should have predicted and plotted for this- even now he seems to be doing little in reacting. Time for a NEW Inter. Minister!!! Yatseniuk is also meandering, making impotent pleas and threatening imaginary repercussions. Crimea may really be already lost- if Ukr wants to save the East, they should appoint Klitschko President and give him temporary emergency power- he can command the respect of many factions, inc those in the East. Ukr is hopelessly outmatched 25K Russian soldiers (+15-40K new flown in) to about 14KUkr in Crimea, with Russians much better trained and equipped, and far better at killing. Interestingly all Crimea water and electricity comes over the Isthmus from Ukr- they can cut them off, but that would punish Crimean Ukrs and Tatars AND maybe provoke the invasion of all of Ukraine!! Answering my and many prayers a big US carrier task force USVN George Bush + 17 ships + 3 subs has reached Greece after 4 days from Gibraltar (this link claims 3 boomers, which is baloney, so all is suspect- don't think boomers even travel with a task force- they hide solitarily in the wide deep blue). Don't know if a carrier can transit Bosporus, but they also claim (w video) that Russia is sending dozens of S400 anti-aircraft missiles to Crimea- maybe the most advanced such missiles in the world.
In an almost cartoonishly bad turn, the new Admiral pointed to run the Ukr Navy there (after the last one was appointed to lead the planned martial law slaughter in Kiev by Yanu), Dennis Berezovsky, after being circled by gunmen, switched side to the Russians, and was appointed head of the Russian Crimean Navy, and was personally urging his former comrades to surrender, countered by a loyal Ukr commander, who won the day. I was thinking it was a ploy, and he might send some loyal Ukr captain on a suicidal attack- well good luck visiting the mainland, where he's a wanted traitor. Russians gave the third deadline of 5am Mar 4 to surrender or be stormed, which passed uneventfully, like the first 2. Russians took over the Kerch Strait ferry terminal and landed troops there. Odessa Regional Admin was stormed by 500 people, and Donetsk RA also attacked. Russian troops and gear has been massing at the Eastern borders of Lugansk, Donetsk, Kharkiv, with tanks seen near Chernigiv (90 miles NE of Kiev).
This is a long term result of Yushchenko's threats to boot out the Black Sea Fleet and flirtation with NATO- no doubt Vlad started considering it then. As a student who is ag expert and worked in Crimea explained, Russians only controlled Crimea for 200 years, before that it was Tatars/Ottoman Turks for 300-400 years, Genoans for 200, Greeks for 600- these historical claims to land are always murky and subjective. Russia probably won't annex it, but call it independent Crimea. All Russians aren't on board over this- this prof wrote a critical article and was instantly fired..
FEB 28 - 6am Yanu has surfaced in Russia, claiming to be the legal President and doing a Press Conf on Friday 5pm in Rostov on Don, a useful fool for Putin's destabilization program, which also sponsored the armed takeover by 120 Russian Separatists of the Simferopol Crimean Parliament and Council of Ministers 4am Thurs (2 dead). Jeeze- it looks like the invasion is on: 6 trucks w 150 soldiers have surrounded Sevastopol Airport and Simferopol Airport was also raided, looking for Ukr Airborne Forces. Before landing troops and supplied the FIRST STEP of any INVASION is secure the airport. It's the Abkhazia/Transdneister/Ossetia Russian-protection partition ploy. 2 big Russian landing ships- Kaliningrad + Minsk - of the Northern Fleet (Murmansk) sailed into the Black Sea Wed, obviously sent 3-7 days ago. This writer called it right a day ago. And the Russians are using the transparent idiocy of claiming Yanu is still the Prez, the defunct Feb 21 agreement is being violated, and of course, Russians are at risk by bandits in Crim. This is why Yanu appointed that Sevastopol Admiral Chief of Staff Feb 17- to control the planned treasonous insurrection from the inside.
-Russian? troops at Simferopol
Previously Yanu had gone to ground w Andrei Klyuyev (who quit, + was shot in the leg) after Balaclava, the famous Crimean fiord village between cliffs I spent 10 days at (huge cave nuke sub pens, Genovese castle, 200M cliffs, and Battlesite)- probably hopped a yacht for Russia, where Justice, Int. Min and Prosecutor have also already fled. The new GOV is ALL Batkivsshina and Svoboda, NO UDAR, a huge mistake, I think but Arseny can't resist handicapping Klitschko vs Tymo. Meanwhile the POR has stopped blubbering apologies (seems they were taken advantage of by an evil Family) and gone into the Opposition, where they will clog up most action, and a new Gov has to do many things FAST in this window of unlimited power, a weak caretaker Gov could be disastrous...
VIDEO OF INSTANT IMMOLATION OF APC
The separatists scum in Crimea, Kharkiv + Donestsk should be immediately deposed- that is pretty clear treason- that's where the need for swift cauterizing action is most pressing. Even Eastern Ukrainians don't want to be part of Russia, or under their thumb- they want easy travel, trade, no visas; because they often have family there. America must stop it's waffling at outrageous Russian threats to Crimea.- a US Battle Group of ships in the Black Sea would emphasize the danger of "intervention" and be a valuable prophylactic measure. Otherwise the consequences of Russian separatist meddling could be catastrophic (inc to to Russia)! Ukraine firmly shut down a rump Russian Independence movement there in 2005 too, but Putin's rage at the collapse of his imperial reconstruction project makes this worse.
The West (EU, US, IMF) must step up and put it's money where it's mouth is- forget the strict IMF requirements for the moment and pop for $3 in the next week (Hrv dropped .63 hrv in one day 24th-25th!). This new government needs maximum support now- the hrv dropped to 11.20-11.80/$ today temporarily. I ran into Batkivschina MP Maidan Commandante Stepan Kubiv, (the wizard who organized Maidan like a fine Swiss watch from the beginning) late Mon night in the new Press Center on 28 Kreshatuk- he was warm and chatty, having just been made new Head of the Central Bank!! (Had questioned him before) He headed 2 banks, reportedly is quite competent, and certainly wired into the new power structures.
Feb 20 - 9 killed people laid out by Kozak Hotel of 50 that day, many unarmed protesters shot by snipers
Feb 22: The Fri agreement supposed new elections aren't much change- only 3 months earlier than the next scheduled 2015 one- (23% earlier) than normal... and there is no question that they won't be good enough for the radical Protesters, who want Yanu OUT NOW! but the Protesters are now on cruise control with their own agenda- their job is fight and attack- they take a day off, then attack; there are no plans or movement to disband EuroMaidan (they took over 6 more buildings by Mon, and many center businesses are closing for good. They have no real leader, authority, or boss. They don't want Tymo, or any old politician, what they will accept isn't clear. Tymo was freed not by any Pardon or Judge but by the idiotic bizarre legislative tactic of decriminalizing the crime she was accused off, the amorphous "abuse of authority". Tymo's Sat. speech in Maidan tried to co-opt Protesters by apologizing for all government and encouraging them to not leave till they get what they want (her, she hopes)
Another day of tragic violence occurred Thurs as Pravi Sector radicals attacked police in the northern side of Maidan and Institutskaya- police opened up with shotguns, snipers, rifles, now using real ammunition from the high ground of Ukraine Hotel and its skybridge. At least 50 killed Thur, inc. 10 police, bringing total current 3 day death toll to 78, 85 for the last month. Young men's shot bodies were laid out by Kozak Hotel + McDonalds- 15, Ukraine Hotel 12, Post Office- 8, Kreshatuk-8. many were shot in the head, chest, many multiple times, some with penetrating bullets that ripped right through bullet-proof vests (made usually for handguns).
"I had 3 men die no matter what we did, 8 others I saw" said doctor journalist Andrei of the medical team to me in the foyer of the Ukraine Hotel at 4am Fri. "Police weren't letting us operate on them at first- there was 1 or 2 we could have saved, I think." The Ukraine Hotel, on the South edge overlooking Maidan had been conquered from Protesters on Feb 18, retaken in the costly fighting Feb 20th- 50 lives for 2 more blocks. Access up the devastated Instituteskaya was in absolute pitch darkness, but with people exhausted from the days travails... relaxed. The new Mayor of Moscow Makeyenko (Yanu appointed administrator 1 month ago) has quit the Party of Regions, pledged to serve the people, and opened the Metro (indefinitely closed, paralyzing the city), and 11 (50 now) more POR members have declared semi-independence from POR- forming a NEW OPPOSITION MAJORITY in the RADA. 150 Interior Ministry troops/+ police have been captured or surrendered to Protestors, and are being held at the City Hall (now released) - another unique feature of Ukr (they fought the law + the law DIDN'T win).
Feb 20 7am Reportedly (Pravda) 2000 fully equipped Airborne troops have been ordered to Kyiv from Mykolayiv and Dnetropetrovsk by the (ex-Russian) Defense Minister, a bad sign- I thought for some time this would be resolved by the Army, but I thought some General who had enough and came in on Maidan side to force new elections and the Removal of Yanuman. Such a counter-force is still a possibility and would result in shades of Civil War. [Feb 21- Armed Lviv militsia have arrived to form a human shield between protesters and police.] Even worse, Yanu has replaced Military Chief of Staff Zamana with Sevastopol Admiral Yuri Illin, presumably wildly pro-Russian and not adverse to force, and they have declared an anti-terrorist action that justifies any violence.
After another 11pm meeting between Yanu + Oppo leaders Wed, a truce was declared- absolutely meaningless- like so many of Yanu's promises have been- another full scale attack is very likely tonight, and then martial law-large explosions as I speak. Before this is over., 100-200 will die. Another guest here was terrorized and interrogated by 4 masked men on Mikhailovsky who photographed him- rightist protesters probably looking for Titushkies, but very tense, since he was a non-Western foreigner. A Vesti journalist was dragged from taxi, beaten, shot to death only 150M up St from me, I almost headed there at that time.With most business in Maidan and downtown closed, the Metro closed indefinitely, schools closed till Monday, and roving thug bands of various persuasions... the capital has become a dangerous scary place late after dark. As an American journo, I get welcoming generous treatment from the Protestors, but even they have become more hostile, contemptuous, and provocative in the last 2 weeks as the spirit decayed; and even the suspicion of Titushky-hood can earn one an instant mass attack- the real Titushkys can be scared 16 yo kids, or monster-killers.
- captured Interior Ministry marched to City Hall
Feb 19 10am LATEST CASUALTY numbers: F20- 70 dead (inc 20 police)- maybe 500 wounded (gunfire), 1500-3000 injured. INCREDIBLY against all odds MAIDAN HELD OFF GOV ASSAULT!! PROTESTERS RETOOK CITY HALL, the CENTRAL POST OFFICE, and a Gov RADIO/TV Bldg on Prorizna-Kreschatuk. Gov Shut off our Internet at 2:10am on Mikhailovsky- really bad timing for radio report.. TRADE UNION burnt out- destroyed, including 2nd Fl Press Center. Went down there from 7:30-9am- still burning in 4 places, inc. the former Jumbotron TV screen. Went into the utterly gutted Press Center- still on fire, trying to avoid melting shoes, and 10cm water from flooding. One wild and crazy Batkivshina video tech was wearing the strewn about rubber gas masks over his shoes like slippers.
In another poor portent for Ukraine, the economy is getting hammered.- the hryvna broke 9?$ again Wednesday, and the Credit Default Swap rate- the price to insure Ukraine bonds if they go bad, rose to a stunning 12.24 %. (USA's is only 0.03%.).
Feb 19 7am Well, still alive, but about to check out Maidan- reportedly Titushky (gov paid thiugs) are roaming my immediate area and beating people; they shot a Vesti journalist dead on Veliky Zhitomhyrskaya after dragging him from a taxi - I'm up Mikhailovsky- only 120M from still booming battle. Trade Center reportedly half burned up, and I'm sure people were killed there of smoke inhalation- (2, says Commandante Kubiv at new Press Centr 2/24) 9 floors packed with people desperate for sleep, hiding from noise and commotion in closets with earplugs- the Sovs still lock all fire exits in their perverse lust for "security" and burn a few hundred people to death a year in nursing homes, hospitals, aptmts for no reason [Feb 21- one report of 4 bodies found in it]. Police deaths are suspect (they claimed 3 before but never offered confirmation-now confirm 5)- but protesters have some guns- Afghan veterans know how to use them, and 1 of 2 APC's trying to fruitlessly break through high barricades of Kreshatuk was immolated... protester we fed with a monster bruise on thigh when barricades then collapsed on him said soldiers got out - the other APC barely escaped.
Roasted Trade Center Bldg 8am Feb 19- gutted from second fl,inc Press Center- Jumbotron on right side on fire MH
Opposition leaders met with a triumphant Yanukovich at midnight -2:30am, where he demanded total surrender- how their position has changed from IF they had taken the PM + DPM jobs- they were said to plead for restraint. Nothing was achieved.
Western Provinces have virtually seceded, with SBU Hdqtrs seized in multiple regions, and some Int. Ministry units going over to protesters.
Maidan War Zone-11:50pm Feb 18 with paving stones ripped up en masse MH
FEB 18 10pm I think that deal w Yatseniuk was real and true but PUTIN said NO, and demanded a crackdown in exchange for the next tranche of bucksy, and Yanu agreed- that would explain the release of money, which didn't make sense with Arseny becoming PM- not exactly a Russia-friendly guy. Yanu actually doing Putin's bidding was the nightmare of all real Ukrainians, and seems Elm St. has arrived. Actually don't think this will cease at all- Yanu will be at serious risk of assassination in Ukr, and like Sadat... he can't trust his own security men- even many from the East feel he's betrayed the country.
Casualties Maidan Feb 18 midnight MH
PROTESTERS RETURN CITY HALL, HRUSHEVSKOGO; GOV FREES PRISONERS, CITY HALL TRASHED by ?; RUSSIA RELEASES NEXT TRANCHE
In a final break in the 3 month standoff, protestors have begun to withdraw from positions inc. the City Hall, and apocalyptic Hrushevskogo battle zone, in return for Prosecutor Pshonka's promise to release hostages (already violated?). I think that means that ARSENIUK has ACCEPTED THE PM Position (latest statement was conditionally accepting). If Klitschko is on board as Dep PM isn't clear- he was NOT present at these ground-breaking negotiation. After the City Hall being "turned over" to the Swiss Ambassador/Gov, Svoboda continued to restrict access- either some new group NARNIA, or another group of supposed invaders apparently trashed inside of the City Hall (which was quite virginal every time I saw it, as all interiors of all occupied bldgs were). Yatseniuk + Klitschko flew to Germany Mon to meet with Merkel, as if they were already the Government on a state visit. Even Putin seems to have given his consent, since he was waiting to see if the new PM was pro-Russian enough before paying up the next installment in his independence-subsuming loan. Or possibly the new PM is Poroshenko, not the dreaded Opposition leaders, and they can remain free of the taint of the Yanuman. Note Yanu's theft extended, according to many sources, to raiding and robbing half of Roshen Chocolets from his own minister- which would make for .highly interesting gov. dynamics..
FEB 8 Hryvna currency collapsing from 8.4 to 9 in last week. Contest has degenerated into War of Attrition - with vicious kidnapping, torture, killing campaign; burning cars (117 to Feb7) against Automaidan and other activists: Dima Bulatov just fled to Lithuania after being held 8 days, ear mutilated, face slashed, and nailed by hand to tree- he was booted out (now only 10F) and wandered into upscale suburb of Vishinky (where I lived in mansion teaching Eng to some banker); another activist- Yuriy Verbitsky was kidnapped from a hospital by suspected police/special forces, beaten to unconsciousness, duct-taped, and dumped to freeze to death in the -5F woods near there (believe I'd met him), apparently a nest of these killers lives there. Katya B, spokesman for AutoMaidan in the occupied Ukr Dom, said in a Jan 30th interview they were very worried about the kidnapped members Alexander Sevchenko + Alex Onashin, "I think the chances that they are dead is very high- they put grenades to blow up their car (and burn it)." Another 23 were arrested after being lured to locations by fake distress calls from "activists" in trouble- their cars were smashed and often burned by Berkut riot police.
On Feb 7, was challanged by drunk thuggish guy with bruise under eye near North end Maidan by McD + Kozak hotel who grabbed arm- thought he might be titushki thug, so screamed at him in coarse Russian to "get TF away"- turns out titushkis smashed up 2 POR connected restaurants dressed as protesters Feb 6th night, and someone sent a bomb in medical supplies that detonated on the 5th floor of the Trade Union... so Protest heavies were patrolling the fringes of Maidan.
And BIG NEWS, latest poll in Interfax has every Oppo leader decisively beating Yanu in a second round, even Tyahnybok. Klitschko crushes him by almost 2:1- what he will need with the massive fraud sure to happen, but almost beats him in the first round. % 2nd round leads are Klitsch 28 pt, Poroshenko 25, Arsen 18, Tymo 15, Tyahny 9. Entire ball game is whether Oppo can settle on ONE SINGLE UNIFIED CANDIDATE, rather than lose it all with internecine jealous squabbles.
Big little scandal was Nuland's bugged call to Amb. Pyatt (gimme 5, Geof), where she says F the EU, as I said simply slightly un-diplomo shorthand for "too bad the EU needs unanimous consent from all 28 members before taking any action"! See my posts on the RT story + psychotic response.
Chatted with a Speaker of French EU Commission, Oliver Vedrine Monday- he said meeting Yanukovich was strange; "There was a feeling (air) of violence, I got little sense of intelligence or subtlety."
Jan 29 VICTORY?: TAKING OF UKR DOM (article), AZAROV RESIGNS, YANU OFFERS PM, DepPM to YATS, KLIT, 8 (Fed) Regional Admins Fall to Opposition (of 25), Attempts + Mass Protests at 6 more, Coms banned at 7, Justice + Agriculture Ministries Occupied, Attempted Attack/Kidnapping on Svoboda Defense leader- END GAME EVENTS
In a stunning raft of developments, Yanukovich cracked today, offering concessions that seemed unimaginable only a day before. It seemed the Protest has won, finally born fruit after so much suffering and sacrifice. Of course, Ukraine being Ukr, Opposition
leaders are not happy w 80% of the pie- they are holding out for 100%, which may lead to total victory or a little bloodbath. According to voluble Fatherland deputy Lesya Orobets Feb 6: "There was no offer on the table- it was a trap to make the Opposition fight among themselves!!" Nobody trusts Yanu now, even his POR- they broke big time in almost voting for a complete amnesty, Yanukovich had to threaten them with dissolution to get his amnesty after stopping occupation bill passed. There is some sense some POR would actually prefer Yanu out now.
SPECTACULAR PHOTOS HRUSHEVSKOGO STAN DOFF
Jan 22 New Deaths at 5 as police use live ammo: 3 people were killed in a morning police counterattack; 2 more were killed by gunfire in the afternoon- all men, In the early evening Klitschko + Tyagnibok held a press conference I just missed- Klitschko then gave a long emotional speech on the EM stage, his voice growing more and more hoarse, sobered by the lethal turn of events, because - Mykhailo Zhyzdnevskiy, citizen of Belarus and part of Klitschko's youth team from Bila Tserkva was shot and killed today during the Berkut's attack on the protesters. He was wounded in the chest near the heart region. This is what happens when you throw 1000 Molotov cocktails - cops will kill you- there are terrible pics of militsia engulfed in flames! 2 were shot by snipers hiding on the roofs- with 7.62mm Degatyrev sniper rifle, one shot 4 times, pretty cold blooded murder.
v Post In Kyiv, 48 people said to be "active participants in the riots" on Hrushevskoho Street have been detained by police, according to an official Interior Ministry statement. Thirteen are suspected of violating the Criminal Code st.294 "Riots," a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison under new laws signed by President Viktor Yanukovych on Friday which went into effect today. I must say, when the entire corps of the press center stands with their hands on their heart and sings the national anthem at midnight along with the TV of the ten thousand on Maidan, it's impossible to not be moved at the depth of feeling and patriotism these people feel towards there much-abused country. The big 3 met with Yanukovich at 2pm in an emergency summit. Fires are still burning in a solid line across the road on
Berkuts brutally attacked a Red Cross station- smashing it up and shooting the doctor with rubber bullets.
IGOR Lutsenko (no relation to fmr Justice Minister), EM human rights activist was violently kidnapped from the hospital with his friend by 10 goons- likely ex-police- he was blindfolded and mock-executed in the woods, whereas his friend Yuriy Verbytskiy, was tortured, beaten, and dumped in a field in Gniden to freeze to death (I used to drive through it when I lived in a banker's 20 rm mansion in Vishinky, teaching him English.). I think I've met him. LIVE TV HUSHEVSKOGO- expreso.tv
Tutushkis- paid government thugs ($25/day) were wilding- smashing car windows with meat hammers, and slashing tires to create chaos- in several operations, AutoMaidan people tracked and captured them, as young as 16, and a column of 40 were marched to the Trade Center to be interrogated and browbeaten.
Jan 20 New Kiev exploded into violence Sunday night as protesters attacked a police blockade by Europe Sq, leading to the Rada, torching 4 buses and a Dynamo Stadium ticket office, throwing 400 Molotov cocktails, 10,000 paving stones from 10pm-2:30am. Police responded with 2000 flash bang grenade, dozens to hundreds of tear gas canisters, and rubber bullets - the invisible sides separated by the charred hulks of buses lined up to block the street. One flash-bang hit exactly from where I moved 2 seconds before (3 ft away) and blew up 10ft away-2nd at that distance- when I saw police were doing counter-battery fire against rock throwers next to burning ticket office, who were gunning the stones hard enough to really reach the police, without baseball many Ukrainians throw like girls.
Protesters were reputedly from a mysterious extreme nationalist faction: Right Sector along with Ultras Dynamo fans (footbal hooligans for justice).- Svoboda nationalists reportedly had strict instructions to NOT attend, though I have no confirmation on this. It is possible some of these were provocateurs endeavoring to justify the most savage police roundup. 120 protestors (KP or Euromaidan) and 50 hospitalized were injured from rocks, paving stones, metal bars, fired canisters, explosions, and rubber bullets, supposedly 130 police, with 80 hospitalized. 60 protesters arrested.
Earkier Sunday, maybe 100,000 people rallied again for the 9th Sunday on Maidan, and Klitschko was seen aggressively getting between protesters and police to minimize violence- police think twice about swinging a baton at Vitaly,t but protesters blasted him with a fire extinguisher- reportedly he had to be restrained from attacking the radicals - at the Maidan stage, the crowd had even booed the most radical leader- Tyagnibok, tired of the same worn out phrases- Glory to Ukraine, Glory to the Heroes..
Babooshka begs Berkut to not beat old man, but her-hey comply
SECOND TRY AT DEPOSING YANUKOVICH GOVERNMENT Kiev: According to Arseniy Yatseniuk, Opposition forces arrayed against President Victor Yanukovich may be poised for another attempt to remove his Prime Minister and Government in a No Confidence vote in the Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament. The last time on Dec. 3rd, they received only 189 votes, far short of the 226 needed to succeed. - Scoop Dec 18 NOTE: After the DEAL w Putin, of course, the Communists reneged.
ex-Rada Speaker + protest leader Yatseniuk- fm video Fri Dec 13
Jan 17 New Really bad news- a host of lunatic repressive laws that make every protester, every journalist, every citizen... a criminal! Passed by a criminal party led by .. well, you know, through an illegal RADA voice vote without any actual counting, without proper vetting, or committee examination, or anything by the POR. There were only 204 POR coalition members present, way below even a majority of 225, but the hack Speaker repeatedly passed every provision with a made-up 235 votes.This allows draconian penalties on every journalist, every activist, every person protesting ANYTHING- it is something out of the SU or China- no even they weren't so brazen- they dressed up fascist laws w nice double- talk. This is obviously preparatory for the giant raid/attack on Maidan bound to come soon- a thousand Tutushki (government goons) are back in Marinsky Park and masses of riot police have been seen.
Well, I'm totally sympathetic to this protest, but almost no
Maidan Nezheleznesty (Independence Sq) - Nov 24 MH-
government in the world would allow such a free wheeling takeover of the entire downtown by a 10,000 person city for 2 months... but these laws allow the gov to clean house and jail anyone and everyone they want, which is obviously their intention, as a friend said,"I think they're afraid to go home- the police will just come and arrest them one by one- look at how little protest Tymochenko's arrest provoked" - indeed the time to stop this outrageous erosion of liberty and decency was WHEN Yulia was jailed for doing her job by that rookie "trial" (like tryout) judge. Yanu is about to make this Belarus 2. On the other hand, the utter humiliation of Berkut guy trapped by protesters in taking off their helmets and balaclavas and running gauntlet of abuse is understandable if this was AFTER the police violence Jan 11, but can lead to savage retaliation. Hard cold is coming Sat Sun Mon -10,-12 C , 10-14 F, that will reduce numbers but the stage has been set for some huge apocalyptic battle between gov soldiers and citizen/protesters. I am now temp. staying right next to Maidan (not in camp or bldgs) so hopefully I will have an intimate view.
Dec 31 - Euromaidan is now in it's 6th week- on Sun 29th, the protestors took their battle to the enemy, taking a 1000 car column to the doorstep of Yanukovich's palatial compound in Mezhigiriy - 15 km N of Kiev, where they held a 3000 person rally 300 M from his home (incredibly the police opened the blockade at the turnoff). After, spurred on by the 3 opposition leaders, they traveled to the homes of Russia booster Medvedchuk and destroyed his fence (provoking furious threats that "he knew how to play rough too"), Int Minister Zakharchenko, PM Azarov, prosecutor Pshonka to vent their displeasure. New Years is the biggest holiday in Ukraine, with hundreds of thousands in the capital, so protest leaders expect new recruits, if temporarily, why NYE Metro closed early at 1am (instead of 2-3am that's been normal). Dec 29 - Protest at Yanukovich home- Mezhigiriya -
- former Justice Minister Lutsenko beaten Jan 10 by disgruntled employees
Jan 14 - On Friday Jan 10 late night- a protest outside a Sviatoshin court that sentenced 3 guy alleged to have plotted to blow up a Boryspol Lenin statue 2 years ago that was actually dismantled by the city before they even plotted.... to 6 years in prison (on top of 2 pre-trial- maybe a sign for Kiev persecutions for Lenin-toppling) was violently broken up by police, with 10 injured (some badly w broken bones), including Yuri Lutsenko, former Justice Minister jailed with Tymoshenko and only (cont 1/11) recently pardoned and released. The gov had reason to hate him- he led the blockade of the Pres Admin bldg on Dec 8, but he was their former BOSS! Video shows the crowd trapping and forcing Berkut police into removing their helmets and balaclavas so they can be identified- quite amazing- if this came first, the violent response is understandable, but in this FSU country, the masses always carried some weight in a way they don't in the West at all- in America police are immune from almost any violent actions (almost all interactions are when driving), unless there is video- even then police are usually above reproach, which sometimes gives them a license to kill. The moment one resists or fights w any cop, he can legitimately kill you, because they just say, "He was trying to get my weapon." Some gonzo friend in Atlanta was probably murdered by a cop who was attacking him in a traffic stop.
In the 8th week, things have slowed down in Maidan and downtown with food more scarce; I thought before that the organizing parties may wrap this up within a week- after Jan 15 Old Slavik New Years that ends this infinite vacation period- there are no doubt factions in the government who want to drive them out by the most brutal means possible- any such protest, in their minds, is crossing the line of treason: they never accepted the results or even apologized for the fraud that caused the Orange Revolution- it's the way the game is played in Yanu-world. But each violent police attack causes a wave of new recruits and outrage. Now defender protesters are armed with all kinds of tools and weapons- whether they would use them is another story- everyone, including them, are exhausted by this standoff, and all the businesses downtown are losing millions.
-- festive protesters by toppled Lenin; Kiev is a joyful place; like long-abused wife who finally gets the courage to fight back Dec 8
It seems clear they should have had other smaller big demands besides fire the people who beat the students Nov 29, like FREE TYMOSHENKO, or FIRE THE GOV, because to a man who spent 3 1/2 years in prison, this isn't real pressure. It's striking that in this whole thing, Yulia has not come up once- except maybe when she sent a New Years message- she is the woman who never was. Yatseniuk thinks he can be President, and her shrill demagogic style is disliked by many- so she may have a long stay in the nasty penal colony they sent her.
Dec 29 saw 20,000 people still in Maidan for the 6th consecutive Sunday, and I collared the so-called Commandante (of Maidan) Stepan Kubiv briefly, the bank CEO that set up the entire occupation like a finely oiled machine. He was just having meetings w his lieutenants and then fled, but also interviewed his assistant.
Primary organizer of brilliant operation of EuroMaidan/Trade Center/CityHall/OctPalace OCCUPATIONS - ex bank CEO- Stepan Kubiv - fm video
There was a piano-hammer dulcimer classical music concert in City Hall Sunday, an example of the wide range of entertainment in what has become a 5 week non-stop concert. They are using 6 tons of bread and 1 1/2 tons of cheese and sausage a day in the industrial food operation in the Trade Center. Guarded like Fort Knox, I only got a glimpse of the massive kitchen in the Trade Center before being virtually attacked by some elderly self-styled security guy. They are trying to consolidate all the protest groups under a new social org named simply MAIDAN, and were signing up people on Sunday.
Dec 25: How this will end with a bang or a whimper isn't clear- numbers are clearly reduced CHRISTMAS, but thousands of ex-resident holiday partiers are coming to town for giant NYE (biggest Holiday where they give gifts) celebrations. Orthodox Christmas is Jan 7, but the Communists destroyed it as a Holiday. Andrei Stranikov, City Councilman presiding over the Occupied City Hall, told me Dec 22, that he "doesn't think the Gov will use force to clear it out," in our 2nd long interview. The following is a big reason for persistence of protests (might interview trooper w camera- neither rain nor snow nor blood in the eyes): CHRISTMAS on EUROMAIDAN
Beaten reporters- mostly from Dec 1 police rampage at Pres. Admin bldg- KP
Dec 27: Somebody sure used force on Tanya Chornovol (bot. rt) Christmas Day, gadfly journo who had just taken photos of arch villain Interior Minister Zakharchenko's (whose resignation is already a demand of protestors) luxurious home, chased for 15 minutes by Porsche SUV that bumped, boxed, and finally managed to block and stop her; thugs dragged her out of the car, and beat her face in.
DEC 19: Well Yanukovich did it- went and signed a trade pact in Russia for $268 gas and a $15 bill loan on Dec 17-what he gave away isn't clear (maybe ownership of the pipelines, and a hard promise to join the CU, but it is a disaster. If enacted - Ukraine needs the money, it is finished as an independent country. Tragically, the EU said yesterday that they would have come up with Eu19 billion ($26b) over 6 years... but they never told the Ukrainians that. These are LOANS just like the evil IMF, what does Ukr have to pay them back with but selling off their infrastructure?
I predicted the Dec 11 crackdown Tues night-Wed morning to my friends here- it was obvious the Yanumen were fed up with the takeover of Kiev by people whose main purpose was his removal- he will quit when pigs fly, and sadly he has corrupted every authority in the country within his first 8 months in 2010. Lately he appointed new heads of Constitutional Court and Central Election Commission- who are now 30 year crony's from his time as a Donetsk transport manager. Luckily the police were not beating people and a 4 hour shoving match ended when the protesters divided off a group of Berkut, then let them rejoin their mates.. and they withdrew.
Here are some exc. pics of Dec10-11 attempted police clearing of Maidan from a friends brother.
Immense barricades to Maidan 5M high Dec13- rebuilt 3 times bigger after police attack destroyed them Dec 11
Protesters on Institutskaya who want a clean sweep of Gov 12-8 MH
don't fight back (video), then the savage pounding journos got later. In the video on that page (actually from Lenin Monument so N/A for this argument), one guy breaks a long pipe over police heads over 12 blows, and doesn't even get a 1 Mace in the face or baton stroke for his efforts. I first thought the were hard-core Svobody guys (some of whom are thugs), but experiences seeing a fake attack (read down) and and fact there are now thousands of these government rent-a-thugs in the capital swayed me. NPR report on it More violent videos at bottom.
- Deputy Speaker of the RADA (Parliament) dep.chair of Svobody Party Ruslan Koshulynsky
I interviewed the Vice-Speaker of the RADA (Parliament) Svobody Party Ruslan Koshulynsky for 10 minutes, who said violently breaking up these demonstrations "would lead to civil war"- see radio report soon. After protesters resisted police tearing down the Maidan tents + the special forces retaking of the City Hall, protesters rebuilt the torn down barricades, bigger and better than before, huge 5-7M high triangles of junk, snow bags, frozen water. City Hall was blocked and covered with ice from hoses.
Dead Lenin- soon to be fragments + Vitaly + Volodimir Klitschko on Maidan stage midnight Dec 8
Questioned Dr. Ironfist Vladimir Klitschko, the great clean hope of Ukraine, but he was doing another interview, then bolted. He is always in a violent scrum, and must fight to get near him, but he is the one guy who might unify this country- he speaks 4 languages, has a doctorate, a clean reputation, knows how to kick ax, and would crush Yanu, but the Rada ruled a nonresident ineligible. He was a German resident for 13 years, Ukr for last 6, but as long as you don't change your propiska (residence permit) in passport, you are an Ukr resident.
Vitaly Klitschko Dec 4 Trade Union Bldg. fm video -
In a bad sign, 5 precincts that had massive fraud in the elections a month ago, had new ones tainted by (you guessed it) massive fraud and vote buying. Exit polls showed 4 of 5 opposition candidates winning, in reality 4 of 5 Party of Regions candidates won! Klitschko, Tymoshenko Party former speaker Arseny Yatsenyiuk, and Svobody's Oleg Tyagnibok rallied the protesters admirably all night and morning of Dec 11 as thousands of troops converged on the square around 1:30am- temp 10F (-12C). They successfully resisted the police attempt amid alot of pushing- police didn't beat people, and half-heartedly removed a couple of tents before retreating- actually some of them are with the protestors.
VK had 1 heavyweight championship belt (just gave it UP! -D16) + has never even been knocked down, his brother has 4. If he runs though, with Yanu's total control of all judges and election officials, he'd have to win by 2 to 1 to actually win, why this crowd wants Yanu gone!!!!
Incredible food table in City Hall- unlimited free sandwiches, tea, cookies, cakes. At the occupied Trade Union Bldg on Maidan, where the Press Center is, even at 3am, people are hurtling out the door every minute with full platters of sandwiches, tea, cakes, cheese for the protesters in 10 deg F (--12C) snowy weather. Everywhere the spirit is incredible- festive, congratulatory, open, generous- everything is free. On Wed I almost stopped to buy gloves but didn't want to spend the time- coming out of Metro on Maidan within 10M there was a kiosk with warm clothes- coats, hats, scarfs. "Got some gloves?," I asked and guy threw me a new pair of beautiful warm cloth
medical supplies in City Hall
The painless takeover may have been helped by insiders on the 120 member City Council- I questioned one of the bigwigs in control of the building- a Deputy of UDAR, who is in charge of the impressive medical services- I got my astronomical BP checked and rapped drug combos. There were only a couple of security guards at the door when the crowd barged in- why defend against a threat that's never happened.
They even brought food, many times to the militsia- police are militarized here under the Internal Ministry; other girls stuck flowers on their shields, to their amusement. It probably helped minimize broken heads. After the vicious battle between police and masked militants Dec 1 in front of Pres. Admin Bldg, Berkut, the fiercest riot police, savagely attacked journalists, sending 40 to the hospital and deliberately breaking their equipment. Maybe 500
paid ($50-62/day) Government thugs, called "sportsmen" cause of their penchant for cheap Soviet-era tracksuits and Titushki after an identified member, have been congregating in Marinsky Park near the RADA (Parliament)- they roughed up a few journalists in Nov. On Dec 8th a huge contingent of Svobody fighters (500-800) went to fight them but they reportedly fled. When they attack reporters, police stand by and do nothing, and they are given gov. assistance. Latest reports (14th) are of well over a thousand of them being sent to the capital in a private train from the smallish city Zaporizhna- if they come from Donetsk, Kharkiv, Sevastopol in sizable numbers- Maidan could see end of the Wiemar-style street fighting; a desperate Yanukovich may do anything to hold power.
There are many stories of government provocateurs- causing violence to give cops an excuse to go crazy, which I always took with a grain of salt- Rukrainians think everything is a conspiracy. But seconds after I took the pic of cops above on Institutskaya, this guy (dn) ran up and punched a cop and bolted, they surged forward like an enraged school of fish (scary when you're 10 ft away), and somehow protesters chased down + tackled this guy, held him, and grilled him under extreme duress. He admits to working for Bureau for State Protection (some Police agency) in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vx0fXpOeto&feature=youtu.be - of capture. Amazing. I now believe the crazy masked guys fighting the police at the Pres. bldg Dec 1 were provocateurs- fake protesters.
--police provocateur- fake protestor who does violence so police can go crazy
One guy drove a bulldozer (video) towards the Pres. gates into the police lines, sure to set off the cops- these photos seems to show the "construction worker" clearing his path was a Berkut officer. He, Sergei Kuzyuk, is later interviewed by Ch 5 in uniform, and was also apparently present at the Nov 30 attack. Luckily after pushing police lines back a meter the driver stopped or protesters stopped him, but the savage targeted pounding journos (the worst event of this revolt) and the demonstrators received indicates it may have been a setup. Reportedly there are photos of the driver within police lines. According to this NPR report , the troops there were green soldiers, 1 hour later they brought in hardened Berkut goons who ran amok. From this incredible video at the Lenin monument on Shevchenko where 100 police run into a bus and don't fight back (find video) while a guy breaks 3M pipe over their heads, believe they were told NOT TO FIGHT BACK (though this is N/A for Pres. Admin argument). This amazing video from Hromadske TV has an interview with my provocateur where they show his state ID and docs- he is a Captain Litvak of YDU (OOO-D-YOU). Amazing- sending their one security service to hurt their, ah, security service. So the chance that the vicious attack on the journos at Prez Admin Bldg was a planned operation is quite high.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bug_O40UfLU Dec 1 NoCom 3:46 Dec 1 Pres Admin violent
http://youtu.be/NzGBJyDit1M NoCom RT Video-Clashes outside Pres. explosions, paving stone impacts
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9_TQekf0W0 Violent video- Ukraine cops clobber.. RT Nov 30
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tINXb8cWIwk Shevchenko Blvd- protesters break pipe over cops head
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dI2HYBfgXY Prez Admin- bulldozer pushing cops
One must remember, unreconstructed killers remain in the KGB - SBU now, this is a place where the Pres ordered the "taking care of" of an Internet journalist back (2000) when the Internet was a fringe activity almost nobody had (3%?)- he was kidnapped, killed, and decapitated by high police officials... and much more incredible- the youthful good-looking future President was turned into Machete by a "security service" Dioxan poisoning, and nobody was ever punished. I must interview one of the cops seriously injured by gov-sponsored "oppositionists"- they must be thrilled to have their tax dollars paying to hospitalize them. No, forgot- nobody pays taxes.
City Councilman and leader of City Hall occupation UDAR party Andrei Stranikov Dec 4-
Richard Bachinsky Hoover, who witnessed it. With all the camera phones out there, such an outrage is impossible to keep secret or low-key, within hours, protesters were streaming to Maidan- the next day Dec 1 there were as many as 2/3 million packing every street downtown- biggest demos maybe including 2004, a week later on Dec 8th there were also maybe 200-400K people out, with +100K every day, at some point.
Protester beaten by riot police by Pres. Bldg. Dec 1 in Trade Union--Dec 8 below
Jingle Bell barricades at entrance to Maidan, made from pieces of giant metal Christmas tree- now since police dismantled them Dec 11, rebuilt much stronger with ice hardening (above freezing for 2 weeks now though)- dn
piles of debris in Maidan Nezheleznesty or ah.... firewood
Broken window in- front door of the City Hall Dec 1, taken over at 3pm that day, with only a couple of security guards present. About 3 weeks ago, Democrats Abroad held their Europe-Middle East convention here, in the opulent but empty grand hall.- rt