Live video: Death toll hits 25 in Kiev as standoff continues

posted at 8:01 am on February 19, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The violence continued overnight in Kiev, as the Euromaidan protesters held their ground against riot police called in by the government to stop the demonstrations. As of now, a demarcation between the two sides has been re-established as foreign governments urge both sides to return to negotiations. However, the rhetoric has not changed, and Kiev remains on the knife’s edge:

The death toll hit 25 overnight, with 241 injured as a cathedral in Kiev got converted to a hospital. Police started pushing into the square early in the morning, but from the live video below, it appears they have stopped — for now. The EU called an emergency meeting of all 28 foreign ministers, and they may be gathering to demand that Viktor Yanukovych be held personally responsible for the violence:

Deadly clashes between protesters and police in Kiev on Tuesday led to a fire-lit nighttime assault by Interior Ministry troops on the main protest encampment at Independence Square, in what may be a dramatic and irreversible turn in Ukraine’s months-long political crisis.

The 28-nation European Union on Wednesday called a meeting of foreign ministers to decide on its response, including possible sanctions, the Associated Press reported. Sanctions could include travel bans targeting the Ukrainian leadership and asset freezes.

E.U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s office said the special meeting of foreign ministers would weigh the bloc’s options Thursday in Brussels, according to the AP. …

Police began to push toward the camp early Wednesday. But whether or not they clear the square, Ukraine is heading for an even deeper divide. The hostility that the opposition feels toward Yanukovych is intense and widespread, especially in the western part of the country.

Having turned to Russia for much-needed financial help, Yanukovych may finally have burned his bridges to the West with Tuesday’s developments, leaving him in danger of being a weakened and unpopular supplicant to Moscow.

That will make it more difficult for Yanukovich to reverse his unpopular decision to align himself with Moscow, if that was even a possibility at this late date. Vice President Joe Biden called Yanukovich yesterday to urge him to pull the police back, but that seems to have had little effect. Yanukovich refused further negotiations until the protests disband, while one opposition lawmaker accused the Ukrainian president of having deliberately provoked the confrontation in order to use deadly force against his opponents:

Lesya Orobets, an opposition member of parliament, said the protesters fell into a trap laid for them by Yanukovych. She said he had knowingly provoked the hard-line members of a right-wing group called Pravy Sektor, who have formed the most aggressive element of the opposition and who led the fighting when it erupted.

“This massacre has been carefully planned in advance and is intended to eventually destroy any hint of democracy in Ukraine,” she wrote on Facebook.

The Espreso TV live channel we used yesterday has gone off line today, at least at the moment, but I have it embedded anyway in case it comes back on line. The Washington Post has a live video stream still functioning, where the smoke from burning tires and occasional explosions can be heard:


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Putin and his mafia wants to build back the evil empire…

mnjg on February 19, 2014 at 8:06 AM

As another nations democracy circles the drain, Mr. Obama enjoys one more round of golf and various unconstitutional actions.

There is no help, nor strong words and substantive actions for support. Just a call from Joe Biden, Mr. Obama’s court jester.

The world is burning from Kiev to Caracas and all this administration can muster are some collegial words over a phone to their fellow dictators.

We are but a shadow of what we once were as a nation under this current government.

Marcus Traianus on February 19, 2014 at 8:10 AM

Wait ’till it happens here, in ‘murica

Offhanded on February 19, 2014 at 8:13 AM

I am not happy with myself…I am thinking of this less in terms of the human tragedy (both in terms of the deaths and also the reversion to Soviet-style “governance”) and more in terms of the utter failure of the Obama administration. I need to pray more for Ukraine and think less of the incompetence of our leaders…

philosoph0123 on February 19, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Also Hromadske.tv for updates around the country. Rebellion all across Ukraine and that will only snowball as long as Putin and Yanukovych continue to press this violent repression. Yanukovych will never again have control of the western portion of the country.

Gingotts on February 19, 2014 at 8:18 AM

Vice President Joe Biden called Yanukovich yesterday to urge him to pull the police back, but that seems to have had little effect.

Yeah, well, it was a call from Joe Biden after all. The only way to make the situation worse is to have Dear Liar get involved, what with his anti-Midas effect.

Besides Ukraine, Venezuela, Iraq and Syria, keep an eye on Thailand too. A whole bunch of new basket cases to deal with.

rbj on February 19, 2014 at 8:22 AM

SMH

cmsinaz on February 19, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Can someone run down to Staples and grab a Reset button.

hillsoftx on February 19, 2014 at 8:22 AM

…Arab Spring….or something!

KOOLAID2 on February 19, 2014 at 8:23 AM

Vice President Joe Biden called Yanukovich yesterday to urge him to pull the police back, but that seems to have had little effect.

Is Obama incapacitated? Why is Biden issuing the call for peace?

Obama seems not to realize how small he makes himself become.

Bitter Clinger on February 19, 2014 at 8:24 AM

Wait ’till it happens here, in ‘murica

Offhanded on February 19, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Lesya Orobets Sarah Palin, an opposition member of parliament the Liberals, said the protesters fell into a trap laid for them by Yanukovych Obama. She said he had knowingly provoked the hard-line members of a right-wing group called Pravy Sektor The TEA Party, who have formed the most aggressive element of the opposition and who led the fighting when it erupted.

“This massacre has been carefully planned in advance and is intended to eventually destroy any hint of democracy in Ukraine the United States,” she wrote on Facebook.

Flora Duh on February 19, 2014 at 8:24 AM

“Lesya Orobets, an opposition member of parliament, said the protesters fell into a trap laid for them by Yanukovych. She said he had knowingly provoked the hard-line members of a right-wing group called Pravy Sektor, who have formed the most aggressive element of the opposition and who led the fighting when it erupted.”

Lesson here for the Tea Party. It’s why Obama and his loyalist democrats label the Tea Party as ‘right wing extremists’.

define agent provocateur

Joseph OHenry on February 19, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Unfortunately for Ukraine they don’t have enough muslims to interest Pharaoh.

ConstantineXI on February 19, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Is Obama incapacitated? Why is Biden issuing the call for peace?

Obama seems not to realize how small he makes himself become.

Bitter Clinger on February 19, 2014 at 8:24 AM

Plausible deniability. Barky won’t know about this until he’s going to read about it after he gets back from his golfing vacation.

bofh on February 19, 2014 at 8:32 AM

Lesson here for the Tea Party. It’s why Obama and his loyalist democrats label the Tea Party as ‘right wing extremists’.

define agent provocateur

Joseph OHenry on February 19, 2014 at 8:30 AM

If Pharaoh agitates the Right to take action against his Junta he has created the results will be… Different. Americans outgun any force Obama could muster.

ConstantineXI on February 19, 2014 at 8:35 AM

This is heartbreaking for a city that had paved streets before Paris France. Russia has always been envious of Ukraine.

vityas on February 19, 2014 at 8:40 AM

I’m not sure who impresses me more, the dude who threw the pallet 15 feet or the riot cop who took the hit and barely budged.

Bishop on February 19, 2014 at 8:41 AM

Bishop on February 19, 2014 at 8:41 AM

I have worked in the “back of the house” at hotels with Eastern Europeans before. They are some big, strong dudes.

kingsjester on February 19, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Tanks to roll on Monday.

OldEnglish on February 19, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Why , on earth, would the Tea Party start riots?
O has his base , so angry, all they need is One word from the Won, and the real extremists will go INSANE. Then you’ll know what to do.

Offhanded on February 19, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Why , on earth, would the Tea Party start riots?
O has his base , so angry, all they need is One word from the Won, and the real extremists will go INSANE. Then you’ll know what to do.
Offhanded on February 19, 2014 at 8:52 AM

What could Pharaoh’s base do except burn down their own cities?

ConstantineXI on February 19, 2014 at 8:59 AM

philosoph0123 on February 19, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Obama is a non-factor in all things foreign. Just consider yourself a concerned observer.

NotCoach on February 19, 2014 at 9:07 AM

This is heartbreaking for a city that had paved streets before Paris France. Russia has always been envious of Ukraine.

vityas on February 19, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Wisconsin has yet to get its first paved road. Or indoor plumbing.

Bishop on February 19, 2014 at 9:09 AM

What could Pharaoh’s base do except burn down their own cities?

ConstantineXI on February 19, 2014 at 8:59 AM

What Indeed.

Offhanded on February 19, 2014 at 9:19 AM

The world burns, and where is our Voting Present President. Why is Joe Biden dealing with this disaster, while Obama preaches the gospel of climate change and plays golf? People, when are we going to correct this mistake? You can bet Vlady Putin will deal with it once the Olympics are past, which is the only reason that the protestors have not been nuked right now.

Techster64 on February 19, 2014 at 9:30 AM

This is indicative of the falling influence of America under our weak, feckless, and misguided CinC.

The strong and resolute American presence and influence in the world was roundly criticized and resented and ridiculed only because those luxuries were affordable in a world with a strong and resolute American presence and influence.

We didn’t ask or want to be the world’s policeman. Our people don’t want us to be, it’s true – and never have. But when Ron Paul correctly notes we were able to trade freely for over a century without being the strongest military in the world, he neglects to mention it was only because of the Royal Navy and the Pax Brittanica keeping the trade lanes free. Now, it is our turn.

We need to be the Big Bad Guy for our own interests as well as the world’s. If we don’t, no one else can, and regional chaos will ensue that will inevitably harm us and draw us in eventually. Prevention is less costly than cure.

A stronger America = a safer world. 1065 days and counting . . . good luck, everyone!

Adjoran on February 19, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Besides Ukraine, Venezuela, Iraq and Syria, keep an eye on Thailand too. A whole bunch of new basket cases to deal with.

rbj on February 19, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Don’t forget Turkey and Argentina, both of them have started collapsing too. We’re seeing an increasing pattern of chaos across all of the “emerging markets” it seems like.

I have the suspicion that soon enough this will reach the stronger markets like Costa Rica or Panama, and eventually the West. There’s just too much government spending and debt. I think Suriname might be the only country in the western hemisphere that is actually paying down its debt right now.

Doomberg on February 19, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Many think that Russia, desperately wanting to return the Ukraine, with its vast wheat fields, back into the fold, is behind the riots. But the Ukraine has a history of instability and corruption that predates even the the old Soviet Union days. so I’m not sure whether this is “same old, same old”, Russian chicanery or both.

MaiDee on February 19, 2014 at 10:34 AM

26 dead and the civil war is on, and Kerry/obama spew hot air.

The protesters expect more from the so-called free world, alas.

Schadenfreude on February 19, 2014 at 11:15 AM

obama speaks…on the way to give away the USA.

Schadenfreude on February 19, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Tom Clancey’s last book, “Command Authority,” was so prescient about what is happening in the Ukraine. The only thing he didn’t take into account was the Winter Olympics. In his book, the most violent riots were started by FSB-led goons posing as opposition groups. Look up what Russia considers the “Near Abroad.”

rlwo2008 on February 19, 2014 at 12:45 PM

The corrupt and spiritually diseased Obuma regime/Euro elites are likely funding elements of the opposition (don’t rule out the neo-Nazi faction). Normally I’d be symapatico with the non Russian ethnic Ukrainians. However, the correlation of forces here leaves nothing to choose from.

vilebody on February 19, 2014 at 1:00 PM

This reminds me so much of the riots in Iran in 2009 when the people rose up against the mullahs and almost toppled the government. Obama’s and Hillary’s horrible inexperience allowed us to miss a golden opportunity to overthrow a government that was hostile to the United States and have it replaced with a pro-western government.

Now, here we are again. We have a chance to stick it to Putin, who hates the United States, and have a pro-western government installed in a country right on his border. But it looks like we’re going to blow it again and, as soon as the Olympics are over, Putin will go in with tanks and put this rebellion down. Just shows you that Obama never misses an opportunity to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory, just like in Iraq. Pathetic.

Libertyship46 on February 19, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Many of the previous posters on this story are absolutely correct. While what is happening now is a true calamity for the residents of the country, there is no denying that this need never have happened.

This administration has shown an almost magical ability to either avoid decisions on foreign affairs or to make the wrong ones…and this is another example of unintended consequences of being inept.

With awareness and intelligence, we would have pushed for Ukraine to join NATO, providing that increased trade, care, and attachment to Europe as a whole, and create that sense of common care. But, Noooo! We did not push the need, allowing as it was none of our business and for the other NATO nations to decide.

Pity they were no more farsighted than our administration…and they also share the blame for the current state of events. Such a shame!

TKPedersen42 on February 19, 2014 at 1:39 PM

police called in by the government to stop the demonstrations. Death toll hits 25

This is the way leftist governments always behave.

We will have the exact same thing in the US if the democrats ever get control.

You see what happened when they had control for two years, 2008 – 2010. Huge encroachments on our freedoms and a complete disregard for liberty.

jaime on February 19, 2014 at 3:52 PM