Protestors in Kiev have taken over the capital and purged their own President in Ukraine. They took control of Ukraine’s capital on Saturday and seized the President’s office.
President Yanukovych left Kiev to take cover in Kharkiv where he met with governors, officials and legislators who had gathered there. It is unclear where he is presently though.
Yanukovych has said that he would refuse to respect any decisions that were made and issued these comments in a pre-recorded interview with a Ukrainian TV channel:
I am sparing no effort to prevent further bloodshed among the people close to me.
I am being intimidated all the time with ultimatums.
I have no intention to leave the country and go anywhere. I am not going to resign.
I am a lawfully elected president.
I have been given guarantees by all international mediators that I have worked with that they guarantee my safety. I will see how they will perform this role.
What is happening now is to a great extent is vandalism, banditry and a coup d’etat.
This is my assessment. I am deeply convinced that this is what this is.
Despite Yanukovych’s unwillingness to step down, the Parliament has voted to set early elections for May 25, after it was decided that the President could no longer carry out his duties.
An agreement had been reached Friday between Yanukovych and leaders of the opposition. The agreement included the stipulation that elections be held no later than December and constitutional reforms be made to reduce the President’s power.
The Parliament has now also named it’s Speaker, Oleksandr Turchynov, as the new interim President.
The Speaker recently outlined his views to BBC Europe: “I want to make Ukraine a modern European country,” he said. “If I can do that through the president’s position, I will do my best.”
Thousands of supporters continue to remain in the city’s Independence Square continuing peaceful protests. For now, it looks as though all is calm and should stay that way if the interim leadership can quickly garner the trust of the people.
What are your thoughts on the turmoil that we’ve seen in Ukraine? Let us know in the comments section below.