Daily digest of main Ukrainian news (Euromaidan focus) February 1

2014/02/01 • Daily Updates, News

By Internews Ukraine

Kyiv, 1 February 2014

Lutsenko expects new majority next week. Yuriy Lutsenko, one of the leaders of the Euromaidan protests, said that people on streets “did almost everything they could” and now the parliament has to become a platform for finding the solution. “I believe that thanks to West’s sanctions and absurd terror of the authorities, a new majority can be set up in the parliament,” he said. “I know that majority of MPs signed an address to change the leadership of the Verkhovna rada (the Ukrainian parliament),” he also said, adding that setting up of the new majority, return to a 2004 constitution, setup of a new government and fixing the date of the early presidential election should be the key tasks for the next week.Foreign minister denies tortures over Bulatov. Leonid Kozhara, Ukraine’s acting foreign minister, denied severe tortures of Dmytro Bulatov, one of the leaders of Automaidan (drivers’ wing of Euromaidan). In an interview to Al Jazeera he said that Bulatov is “in a good physical shape, and only has a scratch on his cheek.” The acting minister also said that reports about Bulatov’s kidnapping and beatings were “untrue”. Yesterday Dmytro Bulatov was found cruelly beaten and tortured, with his photos distributed widely through internet. 

Yatseniuk proposed four-point anti-crisis plan. Arseniy Yatseniuk, one of the leaders of the Ukrainian opposition, outlined a four-point anti-crisis plan which he discussed with US State Secretary John Kerry and EU high-rank officials. This plan includes, a) stopping violence, b) release of the hostages, c) investigation of kidnappings, beatings, tortures and murders, d) constitutional reform setting up a parliamentary-presidential republic, and holding early elections. Yatseniuk added that the debates also focused on the package of economic aid which Ukraine could get if the opposition takes the full responsibility for the events in the country. He spoke of at least USD 15 billion needed to stabilize the situation. Petro Poroshenko, another leader of the opposition, also said that the Ukrainian opposition agreed “concrete and real steps” on solving the crisis with John Kerry.

Ruling party creates an anti-Maidan movement. The congress of the Party of the Regions’ organizations set up a movement aiming at opposing the Maidan protests. The new movement coined “the Ukrainian front” will aim at “clearing the country of the occupants,” said Mikhail Dobkin, a Europhobic governor of the Kharkiv oblast. Some media say that the congress was critical to Yanukovych and sees him as a leader unable to find the solution to the crisis.

Unknowns burnt car of a Canadian diplomat. Unknown persons burnt the car of a Canadian diplomat, on top of over 20 cars burnt earlier and belonging to Euromaidan activists or people who took part in a car rally to Yanukovych’s residence last December. Police, however, suspects that the cars were burnt by the “participants of the mass protests.”

Tymoshenko calls for early election. In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Ukraine’s jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said she sees two solutions to the crisis. The first would consist in holding early parliamentary election on the basis of a new law ensuring exclusively “proportional” model. The second would imply early presidential election, although this option depends on the will of president Yanukovych.

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