The latest breaking news from Ukraine in English

Ukrainian crisis: January 29

The latest events from Ukraine.

Ukrainian crisis: January 29
Фото: newsfiber.com

LB.ua chronicles the latest events in Ukraine in English for foreign readers.

Read previous news on the topic:

Ukrainian crisis: January 28

Ukrainian crisis: January 27

On January 16 The Verkhovna Rada adopted more than a dozen of controversial amendments to the law 'On the Judicial System and Status of Judges' and the procedural laws regarding additional measures to protect the safety of citizens. Most opposition politicians, international organizations and European countries consider these laws a violation of basic constitutional rights of 45 million citizens of Ukraine.

On Sunday, January 19, clashes broke out between Euromaidan protesters and police on Hrushevskoho Street in the centre of Kyiv, after radical protesters decided to break through the police cordon in the direction of the Government House and the Verkhovna Rada.

Police used stun and gas grenades, as well as tear gas. Protesters threw stones at the enforcers. Unrest on Hrushevskoho Street continues for the 8th day.

Six people were killed in clashes on Hrushevskoho Street, but only two deaths were confirmed officially. According to coordinator of Euromaidan medical services Oleg Musiy, four of them died of bullet wounds - to the head, heart, chest and neck.

Now opposition leaders - Arseniy Yatsenyuk ('Batkivshchyna'), Vitali Klitschko ('UDAR') and Oleg Tyagnibok ('Svoboda') - are trying to put an end to the political crisis in Ukraine and bloodshed on Hrushevskoho Street.

On Friday, January 24, Euromaidan supporters started seizing buildings of regional state administration all over Ukraine. Some of the attempts were successful.

In the late evening on January 24 clashes on Hrushevskoho Street resumed.

President Viktor Yanukovich offered the opposition several top government posts on Saturday, January 25. Thus, Yanukovich offered Arseniy Yatsenyuk the post of prime minister to replace Nykolai Azarov, whose government would be expected to resign. Vitali Klitschko, a former international boxing champion, would be appointed deputy prime minister responsible for humanitarian issues. But opposition leaders, supported by thousands of protesters massing in Kyiv's city centre, continued to press for further concessions, including early elections and the repeal of an anti-protest law.

At the same time, Ukraine's Interior Minister Vitaliy Zaharchenko said that all those who occupied public buildings and stayed on Kyiv's Independence Square would be considered to be 'extremist groups' by police. According to him, police would use force against those who went over to the side of the radical protesters, who have clashed with police in front of the football stadium since last Sunday.

On Tuesday, January 28, Ukrainian Prime Minister Nykolai Azarov resigned, and a series of sweeping anti-protest laws, adopted hastily in response to increasingly violent clashes between protesters and police, were abolished by parliament.

00:19. Six employees of the Ukrainian Security Service's (SBU) special unit 'Alpha' have resigned in Ivano-Frankovsk region after they were commanded to go to Kyiv.

00:31. There were some clashes between opposition activists and the 'Svoboda' All-Ukrainian Union supporters in the Lvov regional state administration's building.

According to the activists, 'Svoboda' members came there to ask activists to free the building, but they refused.

events in the Lvov regional state administration's building

At the same time, Andrei Pacosh, assistant to 'Svoboda' deputy in the local city council, Svyatoslav Sheremet, said that the people who came with him and members of 'Svoboda' were not going to clear the building of the activists. According to him, there was a misunderstanding, because previously it was reported that opposition activists are destroying the basement of the building.

00:50. Activist Sergei Sobko told in detail about how opposition activists were ambushed by 'Berkut' riot police fighters and 'titushki' on the night of January 27 in Cherkassy. According to him, activists had nothing to defend themselves with, and when he fell to the ground, 'Berkut' continued beating him with batons. After that activists were dragged into a police bus, where law enforcers jumped on the detainees probably trying to break their ribs.

Sergei Sobko's story

01:47. Deputies of the Chernihov regional council supported the draft decision proposed by the opposition.

The decision states that MPs demand from public authorities to release all activists, return all security forces to their bases, and end the use of the criminal element in the political struggle.

02:52. Cars belonging to AutoMaidan activists caught fire on Cathedral Square in Cherkassy on night of January 27 'due to a technical fault', stated Chairman of the Cherkassy regional state administration Sergey Tulub at a press conference.

Chairman of the Cherkassy regional state administration Sergey Tulub at a press conference

04:37. The majority and the opposition in parliament on Tuesday failed to agree on the details of the bill on decriminalization of Euromaidan protesters because of a few differences.

Thus, the majority insists that the amnesty law should come into force only if demonstrators within 15 days after its publication leave streets and unlock administrative buildings. At the same time the majority says the document can not touch those suspected of causing grievous bodily harm or murder.

05:00. The agenda of today's meeting of the Cabinet includes consideration of amendments to the law 'On the Interior Troops', which, in particular, will let internal troops shoot at protesters.

05:40. The United States will support the Ukrainian people in their desire to peacefully protest, stated President Barack Obama in an annual address to Congress.

06:10. Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said that if Ukraine's new government announces another agenda and other priorities, then it will probably be the reason for the revision of existing agreements.

06:19. 'Batkivschyna' opposition faction leader Arseniy Yatseniuk stated that there is still a possibility of a force scenario of confrontation between the government and the protesters. l

06:30. Individual MP Inna Bogoslovskaya stated that the Verkhovna Rada managed to break the 'force scenario, which was still relevant as of this morning'.

09:12. 'Ukrainians need to decide on their own what model of the state they want to build, while neighbouring countries should remain politically neutral', stated Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

09:31. Head of the Lvov regional state administration (RDA) Oleg Salo urges anti-governmental protesters to allow local authorities continue their work in the building of the RSA.

10:00. Acting Ukrainian Prime Minister Nykolai Azarov said goodbye to the leadership of the Cabinet's Secretariat.

'I want to thank you for the fact that during these four years you've worked hard and kept performing supercomplex tasks of the government on the modernization of our country. I wish you health, success and all the best', said Azarov.

10:09. Two water cannons, two APCs and two paddy wagons were brought to Hrushevskoho Street and neighbouring Shelkovichnaya Street in order to protect the Verkhovna Rada's, Ukraine's parliament, building.

10:23. Russian senators urged the West to stop interfering in the internal affairs of Ukraine.

Moreover, The Russian Federation Council described the latest events in Ukraine as riots. This wording is contained in a statement on Ukraine, adopted by the upper house of the Russian parliament on January 29.

10:36. Political tensions in Ukraine could develop into a prolonged economic crisis, says a statement of the European Business Association, which brings together nearly a thousand international and Ukrainian companies.

10:38. On Tuesday, January 28, one of the leaders of Euromaidan in Zaporozhye, former regional prosecutor Alexander Shatsky disappeared.

10:49. On the evening of January 28, Mikhail Zhiznevsky, Belarus citizen, killed in clashes with the security forces on Hrushevskoho Street in Kyiv on January 22, was buried in Belorus.

10:59. The government should do everything possible for the stable functioning of the state, announced Acting Prime Minister, First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Sergey Arbuzov at today's Cabinet meeting.

11:12. The Party of Regions and the opposition have not agreed on the amnesty law and the creation of a temporary special committee (FAC) to change the Constitution, said MP of the Regions Party Vladimir Oleynik on the sidelines of the Verkhovna Rada.

11:17. Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, Vladimir Rybak has opened an extraordinary session of parliament. 402 MPs registered in the session hall.

11:19. The International Road Carriers Association says that Russia has resumed the customs blockade of Ukrainian goods, similar to the one in August 2013.

11:25. About 50 Euromaidan activists are picketing Kirovograd executive committee's building.

11:35. Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Vladimir Rybak has declared a break until 02:00 pm.

11:37. The Regions Party MP Yuri Miroshnichenko assures there is no split in the party.

11:41. In the context of the difficult situation in Ukraine the President and the government keep control of the economy and the budget of our country, stated Acting Prime Minister, First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Sergey Arbuzov, who chaired the Cabinet's meeting today.

11:59. Acting Prime Minister Sergey Arbuzov said that the most urgent tasks for the government today is to ensure timely payment of wages and smooth operation of all life-support systems of the country.

12:03. Justice Minister Elena Lukash stated that the prohibition of activities of the Communist Party and the Party of Regions by local councils is unconstitutional.

12:10. Several hundred representatives of Euromaidan self-defence came today to the building of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy with a demand for Alexander Danyluk, leader of the 'Spilna Sprava' ('Common Cause') civil movement, and his activists to leave the building.

Opposition activists on Kyiv's Independence Square consider Danyluk a provocateur.

12:18. Former presidents Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma are ready to act as guarantors of implementation of agreements between the government and the opposition to overcome the political crisis in Ukraine.

12:28. 'Titushki' (AntiMaidan activists hired by the authorities) have seized tablet of Hromadske.TV journalist Bogdan Kutepov in Mariinsky park during a live broadcast.

Later, one of the Rehions Party supporters took away Kutepov's certificate of the journalist. After his demand to return the press card 'titushki' said they didn't take anything.

'Titushki' in Mariinsky park

12:31. Foreign investors welcomed the resignation of Nikolay Azarov's government and the appointment of Sergei Arbuzov as Acting Prime Minister - lower rates on Ukrainian Eurobonds on world markets means external creditors hope for reduction of the degree of the political and economic crisis in Ukraine.

12:50. Protests in London are of concern to Ukraine’s elite because of the risk of losses to their assets and reputation, stated Andy Hunde, head of the Ukrainian Institute in London in an article for London's Evening Standard.

12:54. The opposition is ready to start a discussion about the formation of the Cabinet of Ministers with 'full power', said 'Batkivschyna' opposition faction leader Arseniy Yatseniuk.

13:08. 'Batkivschyna' leader Arseniy Yatseniuk excludes dissolution of Euromaidan.

13:28. Supporters of the 'Svoboda' party are trying to free a captured building of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy off activists the 'Spilna Sprava' ('Common Cause') civil movement. Earlier this day a few hundred of Euromaidan self-defence demanding Alexander Danyluk, leader of the movement, and his activists to leave the building.

13:45. Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to fully implement the financial and energy agreements with Ukraine.

14:10. In Kyiv senior police lieutenant received a gunshot wound to the chest. The slain man was 42 years old. Details of the murder were not disclosed.

14:15. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has not yet signed scandalous laws cancelled by the Verkhovna Rada yesterday.

14:21. A considerable part of the Party of Regions MPs in the Verkhovna Rada will vote on laws exempting Euromaidan protesters without pushing counter conditions, said LB.ua source in the Regions Party.

14:31. The Verkhovna Rada will continue its work at 04:00 pm.

14:32. Despite assurances from Vladimir Putin, Russia still suspended lending to Ukraine. Proposal for suspension was filed by Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

14:50. The activists of the 'Spilna Sprava' ('Common Cause') civil movement have left the building of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy.

15:05. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that it's necessary to listen to protesters in Ukraine. According to Merkel, protesters are fighting for the values that are considered important in the European Union, and it was pressure exerted by protesters that opened possibilities for a peaceful way out of the political crisis in Ukraine.

15:24. The Interior Ministry has disclosed the names of the policemen killed during the last week.

Thus, captain Alexander Kisilevskii died in Kherson on January 28 from severe knife injuries allegedly caused by several radicalized young people, who, according to the ministry, were students of one of the local universities. However, according to Kherson journalists, the suspected are members of the pro-Russian organization 'New Russia'.

Another policeman, Alexander Endrzhievski was shot dead in Kyiv on January 24. According to the Interior Ministry, he was killed by the members of the 'Ukrainian Insurgent Army' (UPA).

15:37. 26 Euromaidan activists in Zaporozhye were put under house arrest.

15:40. Today Euromaidan activists commemorated the heroes of Kruty (day, which is celebrated annually on January 29) at Askold's grave in Kyiv.

More than a thousand people, including many people in helmets, masks, as well as people holding shields in their hands participated in the ceremony. Deputies of the three opposition factions paid homage to the dead as well.

The participants marched from the center of the capital to Askold's Tomb , where there was a prayer service for the victims of the tragedy near Kruty.

In 1918 there was a fight near Kruty, Chernihov regionm between the superior forces of the Bolsheviks and 300 students, high-school students and cadets from Kyiv, who defended the Ukrainian People's Republic. Later remains of these young men were reburied at Askold's grave in Kyiv.

15:44. The first Euromaidan activist of those who suffered during the protests in Ukraine has been delivered for treatment to the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. President Dalia Grybauskaite visited him in the hospital.

15:45. PACE Monitoring Committee has threatened to deprive the Ukrainian delegation's voting rights at the next session if the violence in Ukraine doesn't stop.

15:52. Head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament Elmar Brok believes that arrested and detained participants of protests in Ukraine should be released without any conditions by the authorities.

16:05. Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Vladimir Rybak said that the faction leaders agreed on a bill to decriminalize the protesters and a draft resolution on the establishment of a temporary special committee on constitutional change.

16:12. The Verkhovna Rada registered a bill amending the Criminal Code, which allows release of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

16:18. The Regions Party will initiate dismissal of the first deputy chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Igor Kaletnik, who is a member of the Communist Party faction, told individual deputy Viktor Tymoshenko to journalists.

According to him, 'there is an initiative to dismiss Kaletnik from the post for abuse of power during the voting on January 16 for the respective laws. They were taken in violation of the rules and the Constitution, and therefore there is a suggestion for this initiative to collect 150 signatures', he said.

16:23. During January 28-29 Courts in Cherkassy, Zaporozhye, Sumy and Poltava regions have chosen preventive measure not related to detention for 68 Euromaidan protesters.

16:32. President Viktor Yanukovich met with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. The meeting was also attended by head of the EU Delegation in Ukraine Jan Tombinsky.

16:42. Individual MP Sergei Mishchenko offered the Verkhovna Rada to allow the Constitutional Court to review its decisions. On Wednesday, Jan. 29, the appropriate bill number 4052 was registered in the Verkhovna Rada.

16:47. MPs of the 'Batkivschyna' opposition faction left the session hall of the Verkhovna Rada at about 04:30 pm.

According to 'Interfax-Ukraine', Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Vladimir Rybak declared a 25- minute break that has already ended, but 'Batkivschyna' MPs consolidatedly went out of the conference room.

'The authorities have offered a 'compromise', which is unacceptable for a person who respects the Maidan. Due to this there is an urgent meeting of the faction happening now', wrote 'Batkivschyna' MP Alexander Brygynets in Facebook.

16:59. A chain of investigation of AutoMaidan leader Dmitry Bulatov's disappearance leads to the Presidential Administration, said 'Batkivschyna' MP Vladimir Yavorivskiy.

17:07. Moldovan authorities have informed the people of the country of the introduction by Kyiv of stricter rules of crossing the border with Ukraine.

'Under the changes, when entering the territory of Ukraine one should have the financial support in the amount of about $500', stated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Moldova.

Moldovan Foreign Minister Natalia Gherman called these rules 'unacceptable. According to her, Kishinev admits 'adequate response' from its part, but at the moment Moldovans have to enter Ukraine under the new rules.

17:12. Unidentified men raided an apartment of the 'Tyzhden' journalist Alexander Michelson.

According to a post on his Facebook page, three men searched his apartment without a warrant. They showed him some closed identity papers and told him they had reasons for the search: a picture of a gun posted on his Facebook page and the information that he was radical. They prevented him calling to his colleague and pulled his cellphone out of his hand.

Michelson said that in the end they found nothing and left, and while searching his flat they tried to break his landline phone and internet modem. Now he's checking whether they planted something in his house during the search.

'The didn't show any documents. And despite my demands they didn't introduce themselves. But their senior, at my request to tell who's in charge, said: 'Well, I'm in charge. I'm captain', wrote the journalist.

17:18. Most opposition deputies opposed the bill agreed by the leaders of all parliamentary factions, according to which detained Euromaidan protesters will be released once opposition activists leave the premises captured by them during the protests, stated 'Batkivschyna' MP Nykolai Tomenko.

17:28. Federation of Employers of Ukraine, which unites more than 8,5 thousand enterprises and is headed by businessman Dmitry Firtash confirmed the resumption of a 'trade war' with Russia. That means total inspection of Ukrainian goods at the Russian border.

17:50. 49 suspects in the riots on Hrushevskoho Street in Kyiv have been sentenced to two month of detention, 14 were put under house arrest and one protester gave a personal commitment to the court, stated the press service of the prosecutor's office in Kiev.

17:50. Leading lawyers of Ukraine set up a commission to investigate human rights violations when implementing the right to peaceful meetings since November 30, 2013.

18:00. The opposition insists on adopting a law on the unconditional release of Euromaidan protesters from liability, told deputy head of the 'Batkivschyna' opposition faction Alexander Turchinov to journalists on the sidelines of the Verkhovna Rada.

The faction MPs returned to the session hall after acquaintance with the text of the bill, proposed as a compromise, and refused to vote for it.

18:09. Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Vladimir Rybak announced that parliament will work on Wednesday until the law on release of Euromaidan protesters of liability is accepted.

18:59. There were the most extensive human rights violations during the events of late 2013 and early 2014 during the time of independence of Ukraine and even the last years of the USSR, said judge of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the period from 2002 to 2005 Vladimir Vasilenko, who also represented Ukraine in the Commission and the Council of the UN human rights for 10 years.

19:08. The Interior Ministry notes that the creation of militias is subject to criminal liability, reported the press office of the ministry.

'The media reported about the creation of the so-called Euromaidan formation called 'National Guard'. 'Protesters who entered into it, have supposedly already taken an oath not to the Ukrainian people, but to 'Ukrainian nation', outraged the ministry.

19:27. Kyiv city council member from the 'UDAR' party Alexei Davydenko said tonight two Euromaidan activists with gunshot wounds were taken to a hospital from Hrushevskoho Street in Kyiv.

19:37. Ukrainian MP, chairman of the Committee on National Security and Defence Vladimir Litvin predicts that the Verkhovna Rada won't accept a bill on exempting participants in the ongoing protests, except those who have committed especially grave crimes, of any liability.

19:47. The Regions Party MPs have left the session hall of the Verkhovna Rada to hold a faction meeting.

20:00. The new draft law 'On the Interior Troops', which had to be considered by the cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday, only eliminates contradictions, it has no purpose to allow soldiers to use firearms during the riots, 'cause they already can do that, stated Deputy Commander of the Interior Troops - Chief of Staff, Major-General Alexander Krivenko.

20:10. The Interior Ministry denies reports of two protesters being hospitalized with gunshot wounds in Kyiv today.

20:12. The Communist Party of Ukraine MPs have left the session hall of the parliament, said the head of the faction Pyotr Simonenko. According to him, 'the opposition disrupted the vote for the amnesty law', so he let his party members leave the Verkhovna Rada for today.

20:30. President Viktor Yanukovich asked to 'take a break', since there are not enough votes votes for any of the four bills on amnesty of Euromaidan activists, said leader of the Party of Regions faction Alexander Yefremov.

20:40. Viktor Yanukovich arrived to the Verkhovna Rada, where he intends to speak with deputies of the Party of Regions.

20:55. Leader of the 'UDAR' party Vitali Klitschko said that President Viktor Yanukovich came to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, to put pressure on the Party of Regions MPs, to make them vote for a disgraceful version of the amnesty law, which was offered by Yuri Miroshnichenko (the Regions Party).

21:02. President Viktor Yanukovich at a closed meeting of the Party of Regions told MPs that the authorities have enough forces to control the situation both in the Verkhovna Rada and in the country.

21:10. Leaders of the opposition factions Vitali Klitschko, Oleg Tyagnibok and Arseniy Yatsenyuk came to the meeting of the Party of Regions, led by President Viktor Yanukovich, to make sure that he's present there and to convey its position to the President.

21:25. Leader of the 'UDAR' party Vitali Klitschko said that his faction is ready to support the amnesty bill offered by individual MP Yuri Derevjanko and 'Batkivschyna' MP Leonid Emets.

21:40. Today Russian President Vladimir Putin and Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel had a telephone conversation devoted to Ukraine.

'In connection with the situation in Ukraine there was stressed the unacceptability of any outside interference', stated Vladimir Putin's press service.

21:48. MP from the Party of Regions Andrey Pinchuk said that opposition leaders will now consult with the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich and Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Vladimir Rybak to find a general solution on the bill on amnesty of detained Euromaidan activists.

22:05. The President's representative in the Verkhovna Rada Yuri Miroshnichenko said that the Party of Regions MPs will vote for the amnesty law of his authorship. This document provides exemption of participants in the ongoing protests, except those who have committed especially grave crimes, of any liability, but, however, would be enforced only after the protesters vacate the administrative buildings they have seized and remove the barricades from the streets.

22:23. President Viktor Yanukovich has left the building of the Verkhovna Rada, where he arrived for talks with the Party of Regions MPs.

22:59. The Verkhovna Rada (only the Regions Party and the Coomunist Party MPS) adopted the presidential version of the amnesty law, which provides the release of the protesters only after all the administrative buildings and the streets are cleared off the demonstrators. The opposition has not given any voice. 

23:12. The Party of Regions voted for the amnesty law of Yuri Miroshnichenko's authorship under the threat of dissolution, told a few sources form the Regions Party to LB.ua.

23:28. In connection with the adoption of the amnesty law by authorship of the President's representative in the Verkhovna Rada Yuri Miroshnichenko, the opposition is going to discuss its next steps in the People's Rada on Kyiv's Independence Square.

'We'll now gather the Rada and discuss what to do', said leader of the 'Svoboda' party Oleg Tyagnibok.

23:59. Euromaidan is not going to implement the amnesty law adopted by the Party of Regions, stated Euromaidan commandant, 'Batkivshchyna' MP Andrei Parubiy.

Read next: Ukrainian crisis: January 30