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'Ukrainian opposition doesn’t control crowds'

Published time: January 27, 2014 05:03

An anti-government protester throws molotov cocktails at the site of clashes with riot police in Kiev January 24, 2014. (Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko)

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Ukrainian opposition aren’t asking for concessions, rather demanding the government’s complete capitulation, says political blogger Alexander Mercouris. The main problem is that the opposition leaders are not in control of the protesters.

RT: Ukraine’s opposition says it wants more concessions form the government. Do you think they will to get those concessions?

Alexander Mercouris: One does not know at this point. What they are basically demanding are not concessions, they’re demanding the government’s complete capitulation. They want the president to resign, they want new elections, they want new parliamentary elections and they want power transferred to themselves. Whether Mr. Yanukovich is prepared to grant or agree to those things remains to be seen. A few days ago, I would have said now, but then I did not expect for him to offer Mr. Yatsenyuk and Mr. Klitschko posts in his government. At the moment the position of the government is that they will not agree to elections.

RT: The opposition and government agreed to clear the street of Kiev last night, but there were still protesters there. How in control do you think oppositions’ leaders are?

AM: They are not in control. If we can go back to what happened last Sunday - the violence began when the opposition leaders spoke at Maidan Square, made an extremely disappointing impression on the crowds and the crowds then shifted and attempted to go down Grushevskogo Street towards the parliament and the government buildings. Mr. Klitschko tried to restrain them, to stop the violence that was going on and he got squirted by a fire extinguisher. He doesn’t control the crowds.

And this is a problem because he goes to negotiate, agrees to things with the government, the moment he gets back to Maidan [Independence] Square, those agreements are simply torn up because the protesters who are on the street are not responding to him.

RT: Meanwhile the EU has been stepping up its pressure on Ukrainian government. There is a statement from the head of the European Parliament Martin Shultz - he is urging sanctions. How close is Brussels to acting on these threats?

AM: I don’t think it is as close as it makes out. There are divisions within the European Union itself. There are some hardliners like Mr. Shultz, but I am not convinced that everybody in the EU agrees with this.

RT: It looks like the government is trying hard to appease the opposition. Do you think its efforts will have any impact on the EU vision of the conflict?

AM: I don't think it does. The hardliners with the EU have long ago made up their minds, which is that they support the opposition and they oppose the government. And they are just not interested in who is actually driving these protests on the streets or where the violence is coming from. As far as they are concerned it is the government that is to blame.

Comments (18)


Linards Hartmanis 04.02.2014 22:04

To me this looks like a failed European version of an "Orange revolution" that did not managed to put the right leading personality in and the rest is a spark in the quite long conflict between the ukrainian and russian nationalities.
W orst scenario is a divided country.


suricaten 02.02.2014 16:41

@Victoria Elliot, the idea isn't all bad! But in such times of dangerous crisis is occurring in the Ukraine, we have to try to keep us selves to the time we are living in, and not submit to a distant past! This is a matter of life and death! If we support the EU/US/NATO evil axis! We may be in a danger, all of us! So stop the Devils to try to infect the Ukraine, with their evil ways! THIS IS A WAKE UP CALL!


suricaten 02.02.2014 16:32

I Know that you know: Russia, that during the Olympic games in Soshi, the rioters (US payed terrorists!) will use evry minute to push this crisis forwards! But I trust the Berkut & Others, that care what's happening in the Ukraine, and want the EU/US/Nato riottrainers and warmongers, sent to a place where it's very-very warm all the time! (Eternety!) And that Nato School and Seminar place in the Ukraine, should be demolished as fast as possible!

View all comments (18)
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