Ukrainian Government Considers State of Emergency
Ukraine’s justice minister has warned anti-government protesters occupying her ministry she will call for a state of emergency if they do not leave.
Olena Lukash told local media she would ask the National Security and Defence Council to introduce the measures.
The ministry became the latest government building to be occupied on Sunday, with protesters setting up bags of snow as barricades outside.
The basics of the situation:
Street protests began in Kiev in November, after President Yanukovych announced he would not sign the long-awaited EU free trade agreement.
The protesters were further angered by the introduction of new laws last week aimed at cracking down on unrest by banning tents being put up in public places and the wearing of helmets and masks.
The opposition is demanding that the EU deal be signed, political prisoners – including former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko – freed and the new laws repealed.
The fresh unrest comes after opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk rejected President Yanukovych’s offer to appoint him prime minister, saying the key demands must be met.
Although the protest movement – the EuroMaidan – is largely peaceful, a hardcore of radicals have been fighting battles with police away from the main protest camp in Kiev’s Maidan, or Independence Square.
More info at the link.