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Yanukovych 'planned military strike on Maidan'

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 25.02.2014 09:15
Documents recovered from a residence of deposed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovyh appear to show that the embattled leader had planned to use the military against protesters in Kiev.

Protesters sort through captured documents at the residence of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Mezhyhirya village, near Kiev, on Saturday. Photo: EPA/Yaroslav Vaiss

The documents show that on 20 February, during the peak of the violence on Independence Square (Maidan), Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces Yuri Ilin ordered units from Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv and Ochakov to be transferred to Kiev.

Ukraine's defence minister Pavlo Lebedev gave Ilin a free hand in the matter, empowering the military to use weapons and detain protesters.

Former Chief of the General Staff Volodymyr Zaman apparently refused to obey the order last week, hence his replacement by Admiral Ilin.

Document on army deployment. Image: Ukrainska Pravda

The documents lend credence to claims by Lieutenant-General Yuri Dumansky, former deputy head of the General Staff, who resigned on Friday claiming that the army was “being drawn into a civil conflict.”

As it was, after over 24 hours of negotiations brokered by the foreign ministers of Poland, Germany and France, an agreement was signed on Friday afternoon with opposition leaders.

Sikorski under fire

Meanwhile, Poland's foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski has been criticised by Polish opposition MPs since Saturday, after footage emerged of him telling opposition leaders that if they did not sign an agreement, they would “all be dead,” as the army would pacify the protests.

However, on Monday he stressed that “it's very easy to sit on a sofa in Warsaw, commenting on what's being negotiated, when beyond the windows [in Kiev] people are being killed.

“There were shots, detonations, and people with machine guns and sniper's rifles were standing outside the presidential palace.”

Sikorski has also said that an EU association is “waiting to be signed” by Ukraine, but that time is needed so that the country can form “a stable government.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister of Russia Dimitry Medvedev has claimed that “there is no one to have discussions with in Ukraine at the moment, because the legality of many authorities is dubious.”

However, he insisted that Ukraine remains “an important partner” and that all previously signed agreements would be honoured.” (nh)

Source: PAP/IAR

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