Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych has promised a government reshuffle and reforms on a contested anti-protest law as the country seems to split again between West and East.
Ukrainian protesters erected more street barricades and occupied the agriculture ministry building on Friday, fuelling tension after the failure of crisis talks with President Viktor Yanukovich.
In response to opposition calls, about 1,000 demonstrators moved away from Kiev’s Independence Square in the early hours of
Friday and began to erect new barricades closer to presidential headquarters.
In the meantime, after Lviv and Rivne, yesterday, protesters managed to occupy at least 7 western cities like Tschernivtci and Lutsk.
At least three protesters have been killed so far – two from gunshot wounds – after clashes between protesters led by a hard core of radicals and riot police.
Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in the capital after Yanukovich backed away from signing a free trade deal with the European Union, which many people saw as the key to a European future, in favour of financial aid from Ukraine’s old Soviet master Russia.
But the movement has since widened into broader protests against perceived misrule and corruption in the Yanukovich leadership. Protesters have been enraged too by sweeping anti-protest legislation that was rammed through parliament last week by Yanukovich loyalists in the assembly.