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Red lines crossed in Kyiv, opposition still pursuing government resignation

Red lines crossed in Kyiv, opposition still pursuing government resignation
By Euronews
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Fidel Pavlenko, euronews: “We’re joined by our correspondent in Kyiv Angelina Kariakina. Has the opposition lost momentum now that its attempt in parliament to get the government sacked has failed? And was that the key demand of the Maidan protesters?”

Angelina Kariakina: “After the unsuccessful attempt to get a no confidence vote passed in parliament, the opposition leaders confirmed that that demand still stands, and that they will try other ways to get the cabinet sacked, namely through the president. Now they want President Yanukovych himself to issue a decree for the government’s resignation. They now call on supporters and protesters in Maidan to picket the presidential administration and stay there until their demands are met. The opposition leaders’ statements sound as strong and firm as before. There are many protesters still out in the streets, and there are no plans to scale down the rallies.”

Pavlenko: “What is the general mood among ordinary people? Do they still support the opposition leaders and other activists? Or is there a feeling of disappointment and despair?”

Kariakina: “The crowd’s reaction to the news that the no confidence vote failed in parliament was downcast, but people point out that they gathered here not just for a protest, but as part of a general strike to get the resignation of the government. So people here plan to stay on, and they also call on supporters in other cities and regions of Ukraine to join in. This strike has already been joined by the students. So, the general mood is to continue with the protests and try to bring the government down by holding mass rallies in the streets if it can’t be by a parliamentary vote.”

Pavlenko: “After surviving the no confidence vote in parliament, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov announced plans for drastic changes in his cabinet. Could those promises satisfy the protesters? Is the opposition ready for potential talks and compromise with the government?”

Kariakina: “Prime Minister Azarov did not elaborate on his promise of changes within the government. He didn’t give any details of proposed steps aimed at calming things down or finding a compromise with the opposition protesters. It’s worth noting that the Minister of the Interior Vitaly Zakharchenko was not present in parliament. His resignation is one of the key demands after brutal force was used against the demonstrators. The governing Party of Regions insists the Minister didn’t attend the Rada because the situation in the city remains tense and he has his duties to perform. So there was no concrete offer of a compromise from the government, and the opposition also insist that there can be no compromise with the government that crossed the imaginary red line, and so it should therefore resign.”

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