Scenes from the anti-government protests in Kiev in December 2013.
With thousands of protesters still converging on the Maidan all this week and thousands of police prepared to confront them, the danger of a repeat of the weekend’s violence in the city is high.
On Tuesday night the square, in the heart of the city’s affluent shopping area, was barricaded off with bins, scrap and bits of Christmas decorations brought in behind the police after the square was cleared, ostensibly to make way for the erection of a giant artificial Christmas tree. The shell of the tree is now garlanded with banners, EU flags and obscene advice for President Viktor Yanukovych. The nearby Kiev City Hall is under occupation by protesters, with supporters queuing patiently to come in and explore the building.
The government strategy seems to be to ride out the crisis at least until the OSCE’s foreign ministers come and go. Yanukovych himself is currently on a state visit to China. Prime Minister Mykola Azarov apologised to parliament Tuesday for the actions of police. Later a parliamentary motion of no-confidence in his government drew 186 opposition MP votes, well short of the 226 required.
See rohanjay.com/post/68894582906 for more.