While Ukraine’s prime minister said the mass protests had got “out of control” and the situation “resembled a coup”, the president appealed for calm in an interview with journalists from four TV channels.
Viktor Yanukovych appeared to acknowledge the right to demonstrate and to free speech.
“As for the people who came out to the rallies, any show of public will is always confirmed by everybody’s freedom and right to speak their mind. It is important that these rallies have a peaceful character. It doesn’t matter if it is the representatives of the government, law enforcement agencies or the participants of the rallies – all must respect the law,” he said.
“I am convinced that a bad peace is better than a good war,” Viktor Yanukovych added.
The president also accused protesters of “hiding behind children” in occupying official buildings.
He called on government and opposition to unite in investigating events connected to mass rallies and identify what he called “provocateurs”.
The president’s younger son Viktor Yanukovych Jr, an MP with the ruling Party of Regions, has blamed protesters for violence towards the police.
Meanwhile it was reported that the two heads of the MP’s press service had resigned from their posts, citing the forceful dispersal of demonstrators as the main reason.
In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney said “the violence by government authorities against peaceful demonstrators in Kiev on Saturday morning was unacceptable”.
He described reports of journalists and media being assaulted and targeted by security forces as “disturbing”.
- 1Merkel: no talks on new Greece bailout deal until after referendum
- 2Ku Klux Klan set for Confederate flag rally as black church fires probed
- 3UPDATE Egypt: Islamist militants affiliated to ISIL claim deadly Sinai attacks
- 4What is the market price of valour for Greece?
- 5Ukraine stops Russian gas imports after price talks collapse
- 1Greek Prime Minister Tsipras confirms referendum, calls for Greeks to reject creditors’ proposal
- 2Time runs out: Greece misses 1.6 billion-euro IMF repayment
- 3Debt “dithering” sparks online bid to raise €1.6 billion to help Greece
- 4Greece’s eurozone future in balance as bailout expires
- 5Ukraine stops buying Russian gas over price row
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Spain’s first case of diphtheria in 30 years: parents of six-year-old ‘oppose vaccines’
- 3Greek debt crisis is “absolute supremacy of capital over humans”
- 4[Live updates] NGO flotilla bids to break Israeli blockade of Gaza
- 5[LIVE UPDATES] Greek debt deadline looms
- 6Istanbul Gay pride quashed by riot police, rubber bullets and water cannon
- 7[LIVE UPDATES] France: man decapitated, several wounded in chemical plant attack
- 8Israel prepares to repel boarders as ‘Freedom Flotilla 3’ tries to run Gaza blockade
- 9Large Hadron Collider ready to embark on an unprecedented voyage of discovery
- 10NewsWires : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 11Greek debt summit – Live updates
- 12‘Distractingly sexy’ scientists hit back in lab chemistry polemic
- 13Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria focus of EU cash fraud probes
- 14Interpol issues ‘red notice’ for accused ex-FIFA bosses
- 15Summit up in Brussels as Greek proposals give food for thought and rumours fly
- 16Battle of Waterloo, live-tweeting 200 years on
- 17Greek PM faces day of crucial bailout talks in Brussels
- 18Citizens take power in Spain’s largest cities as a political revolution sweeps the country
- 19Italy discovers biggest illegal waste dump in Europe
- 20Greek banks, stock exchange will not open on Monday, Tsipras announces
Wires > News
- 04:30 CET ‘Wow, pulled back wrong throttle’ – captain of crashed TransAsia…
- 02:24 CET Images show Chinese airstrip on man-made Spratly island nearly…
- 00:50 CET Britain, Russia at odds over U.N. Srebrenica genocide commemoration
- 00:18 CET More than 100 dead as militants, Egyptian army clash in North Sinai
- 23:55 CET Migrant trafficker jailed for 18 years for 2013 shipwreck off Italy
- 23:20 CET Congo Republic leader calls for national dialogue, with term…
- 23:10 CET Fleeing a crisis, Greek migrants flock back to Australia
- 22:27 CET Mexico supreme court judge urges states to legalize gay marriage