Hundreds of thousands gathered in the Ukraine capital Kiev’s Independence Square (Maidan) 24 November 2013 in frustration over the government’s decision to decline an alignment deal with the European Union and instead opt for closer ties with Russia. The opposition has grown in strength, solidifying its base, by spreading occupations across the nation and trying to undermine the president’s power. Ukraine’s President Yanukovich has met with the opposition multiple times since November to no avail, insisting that the government will attempt to form an Ukrainian alliance with both the EU and Russia.
Police forces in Ukraine’s capital Kiev have stormed the main anti-government protest camp set up in Independence Square (Maidan) on 18 February 2014, which then brought upon three days of deadly unrest that killed 100. A truce was announced Wednesday night between the President and opposition leaders. The truce was broken and ensued further violence. After more emergency meetings and ultimately a signed agreement with President Yanukovich and opposition leaders, people are still remaining on the Maidan demanding the President’s resignation, early elections and parliamentary elections.
[Updates are of local Ukrainian time, with most recent at top — Refresh to get the latest]
23 February 2014
11PM To catch up on what the Parliament in Ukraine’s Kiev, the local Kyiv Post has it all. They are hoping to have a full new government by 25 February and to start EU negotiations right as the new administration is instilled.
10:20PM The Guardian put up a report earlier today on discussions of succession by Ukrainian regions along the Russian border. Here’s a few excerpts:
At a protest attended by thousands in the port city of Sevastopol on Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, the crowd voted to establish a parallel administration and civil defence squads. Demonstrators waved Russian flags – there was not a Ukrainian flag to be seen – and chanted “Russia, Russia, Russia” during the gathering.
“Sevastopol is a Russian town and will always be a Russian town… we will never surrender to those fascists in Kiev,” said Anatoly, who was handing out Russian flags and declined to give his surname. “The struggle is only just beginning.” The largely Russian-speaking eastern and southern regions of Ukraine have been shaken by events in the Ukrainian capital over the last week that have led to the toppling of President Viktor Yanukovych.
Nowhere in the country is a Russian heritage stronger than in Crimea. The peninsula was officially a part of Russia until 60 years ago when the Soviet leadership transferred it to Ukraine. Speakers at the protest avoided direct calls for Russian intervention, but when the head of the city’s administration said that the secession of Crimea could not be permitted he was booed from the stage.
Russian officials refrain from publicly stating their support for Crimean separatism, but Kremlin aide Sergei Glazyev described Ukraine last month as “schizophrenic” and said that Russia would support greater federalism.
10:15PM A reporter in Ukraine’s southeast region and peninsula of Crimea, yesterday, shared that regions – or locally known as oblasts or states – along the Russian border may be in talks of succession to Russia.
Simon Shuster reported on Twitter, “Russia appears to be preparing a grab for parts of Ukraine. […] Crimea asking for “protection” from Russia’s army.” He also states that there were senior Moscow delegates in Kharkiv, another oblast which is more up in the northeast of Ukraine and along the Russian border. (Twitter)
10PM Interfax reports Russian ambassador to Ukraine recalled to Moscow for consultations (Reuters)
9PM There are some rough, unconfirmed reports – perhaps rumors – of Russian military movement along the Ukrainian border. Videos and photos of such movement have been posted on social media sites. Sightings have been mentioned in Russia’s Novorossiysk, just 100 miles off of the southeast corner of Ukraine (Twitter)
5PM Protesters in the Maidan are in full control of the square and of Ukraine’s capital, Kiev
4PM Oleksandr Turchynov is now instilled as Ukraine’s interim president, following the dismissal of President Viktor Yanukovych on Saturday. Turchynov told members of the parliament they had until Tuesday to form a new unity government. More on Turchynov from BBC News:
Later, in a TV address, Mr Turchynov suggested Ukraine would re-open talks with the EU about closer links. Mr. Yanukovych’s rejection of an EU-Ukraine trade pact triggered the protests that toppled him.
In his address, Mr Turchynov said he was “open to dialogue with Russia” as long as Moscow respected “Ukraine’s European choice,” according to translated remarks carried by the AFP news agency.
3:30PM Ukraine’s parliament dismisses health minister, adopts Ukrainian as the country’s official language (Interfax)
3PM Party of Ukraine’s deposed President Yanukovych blames him and his associates for current turmoil (Interfax)
22 February 2014
10:50PM Ousted President Viktor Yanukovych is reportedly holed-up somewhere in his power base in eastern Ukraine. He has since tried to leave the country, reports Interfax Ukraine, which said he was stopped by the State Border Service (BBC News)
10:10PM Ultra-radical Ukrainian opposition group “Right Sector” says it will not stop protesting in central Kiev, “The Right Sector will not disperse. It is not the time to celebrate. Now we must be more united than before.” (BBC News)
10PM Tymoshenko ends her speech on the Maidan, “Now I’m going back to work. Long live Ukraine!”
9:45PM Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko tells protesters they should keep up protests. Tymoshenko says Yanukovich should be forced to come to Independence Square where protests taking place (Reuters)
9:30PM Yulia Tymoshenko is now addressing the thousands on Kiev’s Maidan
9PM Yulia Tymoshenko, speaking on Hrushevskoho Street, says, “I want to go home to Maidan.” (Kyiv Post)
9PM Yulia Tymoshenko, quoted by Interfax Ukraine, says: “My biggest happiness is returning to an absolutely new Ukraine. The era of dictatorship, criminality, clannishness and lawlessness has ended. A new era has begun today, an era of free people, a free country, a European country.” (BBC News)
8:45PM Ukrainian Health Ministry raises death toll from clashes that began Feb. 18 to 82 people; 622 injured (NBC News)
8:30PM Longtime jailed opposition leader Tymoshenko has been freed after having been voted by the parliament for her release and is on her way to thousands at the Maidan in Kiev.
7PM Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych “doesn’t accept” his dismissal by Ukraine’s parliament, spokeswoman says (BBC News)
6PM The newly elected Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov stated the following regarding President Yanukovich and what’s next for the nation:
“Taking into account that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych removed himself from fulfilling his constitutional duties, which threatens the governability of the state, Ukraine’s territorial integrity and independence and leads to mass violation of the rights and freedoms of the citizens; given the circumstances of utter emergency, the Supreme Council of Ukraine, expressing the sovereign will of the Ukrainian people, decree the following. First, to establish that President Viktor Yanukovych has in an unconstitutional way removed himself from fulfilling his constitutional duties and fails to fulfil his duties. Second, in line with Clause 7 of Part 1 of Article 85 of the Ukrainian constitution, schedule an early presidential election for 25 May 2014. Third, this resolution comes into effect as soon as it is passed.”
[Quote from BBC News]
5:30PM Ukraine’s army says it will honor its oath to its people. The Kiev Post has the statement:
In this difficult time for the country we, the employees of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, strtess that were and remain loyal to the military oath, the Constitution of Ukraine and continue to follow the requirements of the statutes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the laws that regulate the activities of the Defense Ministry. We deeply mourn the loss of life and hope that this will never happen again in our country,” said the statement released on the Defense Ministry website.
5:15PM The nation’s parliament has ruled for early elections on 25 May 2014 (Twitter)
5PM Parliament votes 328-0 to impeach Ukraine President Yanukovych. The Kyiv Post has more:
Accusing him of massive human rights violations and abandonment of his duties, parliament voted unanimously today to impeach Viktor Yanukovych as Ukraine’s fourth president. The vote came as reports surfaced that Yanukovych had resigned and even pre-recorded his resignation statement, but then changed his mind and issued a defiant video promising not leave Ukraine or resign.