пʼятниця, 21 лютого 2014 р.

Statement on the Violence in Independence Square

Statement on the Violence in Independence Square, Kyiv, Ukraine

February 19, 2014

TORONTO - KYIV: The International Council in Support of Ukraine (ICSU) condemns the indiscriminate and extreme violence unleashed on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by the Ukrainian government against its own citizens. The target of the ongoing attacks are the Maidan protesters in the nation’s capital, Kyiv, and throughout the country, who are demonstrating their support of Euro-integration and the defence of national freedom, individual liberty, democracy and rule of law.

It is now clear that, despite repeated international calls for negotiations between the Ukrainian government and the political opposition, President Yanukovych has bowed to Kremlin pressure. It is not a coincidence that this was the bloodiest day since the start of the protests three months ago, with over two dozen killed, and over a thousand severely wounded. The unprecedented violence comes immediately one day after Vladimir Putin provided additional billions of dollars of inducement to Viktor Yanukovych to emulate the Kremlin’s methods for dealing with those who do not bow to Putin’s will: harassment and brutality, intimidation and terror, violence and death for those who dare to stand up for their rights.

Today, Kyiv remains in flames as the Maidan protesters continue to withstand and repel repeated attacks by government forces. The ICSU welcomes the call today by the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, for an emergency meeting in Brussels of the EU Foreign Ministers to address the crisis in Ukraine. The EU must stay the course on Ukraine’s integration and resist Russian pressure to be included as third party in any negotiations between the EU and Ukraine. Today's declaration of a full scale Anti-terrorist Operation on the territory of Ukraine indicates that the Security Service of Ukraine is being coerced by Russia's FSB (formerly the Soviet KGB) and signals a further escalation of Russia's intervention in Ukraine.

Therefore, with reference to its statements of December 5, 2013,December 20, 2013, and January 16, 2014, the ICSU calls upon the international community - UN, EU, OSCE, ICJ, United States, Canada, United Kingdom and nations of Europe to immediately: 

-      Implement sanctions and bring criminal charges before appropriate international tribunals against those responsible for the violence.

-      Launch a sustained intervention to compel meaningful negotiations between Viktor Yanukovych and the political opposition. To this end, international peacekeepers and human rights monitors should immediately be dispatched to Ukraine.

-      Confront Vladimir Putin over his brazen, subversive intrusion in Ukraine, by making it clear that there cannot be business as usual when Russia is directly involved in destabilizing Ukraine, including fomenting the Ukrainian government’s violent onslaught against its own citizens.

For more information, contact:
Yuri Shymko                                                                                        Borys Potapenko
ICSU, President                                                                                   ICSU, Vice-President
Tel (416) 658-4066                                                                           Tel  (586) 216-3798
yurishymko@rogers.com                                                                 boryspotapenko@gmail.com

The International Council in Support of Ukraine (ICSU), which encompasses civic organizations in Ukraine, USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Argentina, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece, was established in 1967 as a coordinating body of Ukrainian organizations in the Free World whose main goal was the restoration of an indivisible, independent and democratic Ukrainian nation state that briefly existed after WW I and was proclaimed at the outset of WW II.  These acts of self-determination and national emancipation included a protracted liberation struggle against both Nazi and Soviet occupiers. The ICSU’s first two presidents were survivors of Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen.

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