Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Moscow Blames Radicals For Deadly Clashes In Ukraine
Via RT: Moscow believes the deadly clashes in Kiev were an attempt at a coup by radicalized protesters. Twenty-six people were killed overnight in the most violent clashes yet to have occurred between security forces and protesters since the opposition took to the streets of Kiev in November 2013. In a statement issued on Wednesday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry described the violence in Ukraine as an attempt at a coup d’etat and a "brown" revolution. "The Russian side is demanding the leaders on the streets to stop the violence in their country, immediately resume dialogue with the lawful government without threats and ultimatums", the statement reads. The Kremlin has interpreted the violence in Ukraine as a coup attempt. President Putin’s spokesman said that "from the point of view of the Russian leadership", all of the responsibility for the bloodshed could be laid at the door of "the extremist forces". The E.U.’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton announced that E.U. foreign ministers would hold an extraordinary meeting in Brussels on Thursday to discuss a response, with options on the table including sanctions against individuals considered responsible for the bloodshed. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt tweeted Wednesday that responsibility for deaths lay with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, saying: "He has blood on his hands". Russia joined condemnations of the violence, but accused European leaders of failing to hold Ukrainian opposition leaders responsible. U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt blamed Viktor Yanukovich for the escalation of the crisis. "From this moment on, the USA holds Yanukovich responsible for everything that happens in Ukraine", he told the Zerkalo Nedeli newspaper, following a meeting with Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara. Moscow believes that this accusatory position of the U.S. could have, in fact, contributed to the escalation of violence Kiev has been witnessing, and, holding the president solely responsible for the crisis, is giving carte blanche to extremist radical forces out on the streets. Pope Francis raised the subject of Ukraine at an audience Wednesday in the Vatican, during which he said that he would be praying for the victims. "I call on all sides to cease violence and start the search for peace", the Pontiff said.