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16 February, 2014 01:36   ▪  

February 15 news: Activists make a checkpoint at Hrushevskoho, leave Kyiv City State Administration and four oblast state administrations, and Maidan is preparing to increase peaceful pressure on Parliament

Protesters have begun to take away a part of the barricade on Hrushevskoho Street where major clashes took place on January 19-22; MP Arsen Avakov said that activists would set up a checkpoint at Hrushevskoho and free the Kyiv City State Administration and four oblast state administrations by morning; four Maidan activists are still in detention centers; the opposition claims that the Maidan is not going anywhere; titushky have made another attempt to demolish barricades on Khreshchatyk; a resolution was submitted to the US Senate calling on immediate sanctions against Ukraine; the Maidan is preparing for peaceful pressure on Parliament

Two excavators began to dismantle barricades on Hrushevskoho Street on February 15. They are partly dismantled making a four-meter wide pathway. Activists claim that they thus fulfill their part of the agreement with the government whereby they should provide free pathway to vehicles in Kyiv. The bags with snow and ice used to build the barricades are not taken away but put on the sides reinforcing the side barricades. Maidan activists are expecting a truck of sand which they will put in construction bags and further reinforce side barricades as the snow and ice melt in warm weather.

“If the government does not keep its promises, these bags will block the holes in the old barricades,” activists claim.

The media also report that protesters are leaving the Kyiv City State Administration. Ihor Zhdanov, political analyst and one of the Maidan representatives, has made this statement.

“We have begun to free the Kyiv City State Administration,” he said and noted that “the relevant measures are now taking place at the office of the Kyiv mayor and we expect the building to be freed by Sunday.”

Later, MP Arsen Avakov said that Maidan activists would leave the Kyiv City State Administration and four oblast state administrations in Ukraine, and rearrange barricades on Hrushevskoho Street ensuring unrestricted passage of vehicles there.

“Hrushevskoho is the only street we should free. So, by morning, we will have a boom gate and a corridor. We will set up a checkpoint there through which traffic will resume. The car with an EU ambassador and an MP will be the first one to cross the checkpoint,” Avakov said.

READ ALSO: A Debilitating Truce: The authorities' "consessions" did not address any of the original causes of the mass protests, leaving the confrontation at a standstill 

However, the Maidan will not go anywhere until all demands of protesters are fulfilled, Batkivshchyna’s Arseniy Yatseniuk said. “We will stay at the Trade Unions’ Building, the Ukrainian House, and Zhovtnevyi Palace. We stay at the Maidan. As to other premises, the Maidan Council has made its decision on this, but we will first see how the government complies with its decisions,” Yatseniuk said.

Titushky, the hired thugs, once again tried to dismantle the barricade on Khreshchatyk. Women carrying posters with Stalin’s portraits have joined them. As a result, the Interior Ministry claimed that protesters beat up the participants of that peaceful campaign and five of them ended up in hospitals.

A draft resolution on Ukraine was submitted to the US Senate calling on the State Department to consider immediate introduction of targeted sanctions including visa bans and freezing of assets. The draft resolution No357 was sponsored by the Democrat Senator Robert Menendez. The draft resolution also calls on Barak Obama’s Administration to reinforce government programmes to support democracy and human rights in Ukraine. Also, the sponsors urge the US Government to immediately revise funding of any organizations in Ukraine that are involved in repressive actions violating civil or human rights of Ukrainians.

On February 18, the Maidan protesters will rally in front of the Verkhovna Rada, Batkivshchyna’s Stepan Kubiv told journalists today. “The key point (of the Sunday rally on February 16 – Ed.) is to discuss the peaceful rally to the Verkhovna Rada to help MPs pass the right decision and return to the 2004 Constitution,” Kubiv noted. 

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