Ukraine: A Turning Point in the Revolution

Although tensions had been easing for days, yesterday evening
Ukraine erupted in chaos as the pro-western Euromaidan movement
battled with the notorious Berkut
security forces and the Interior Ministry’s troops. Twenty-six
people are dead and over 1,000 individuals are injured. Ukraine’s
 has marked a turning point in the revolution. The
protesters’ ranks and armaments are growing, while President Viktor
Yanukovych’s defenses are waning.

So far, the fight has been generally lopsided. The government
has reportedly used modified less-than-lethal weapons, such
percussion grenades covered
in nails
, to inflict greater damage. They have also apparently
used automatic
show militarized vehicles barreling through the

The opposition has retaliated with far less
firepower–mostly makeshift weapons like molotov cocktails and

“I am confident that today Maidan will be stripped,”
Oleh Tsariov, a high-ranking member of President Viktor
Yanukovych’s Party of Regions as Berkut encircled the

That prediction didn’t come true. And, Euromaidan has now seized
government arms depots,
to The New York Times. And,
although they sustained most of the injuries in yesterday’s fight,
literally busloads of
citizens from other parts of the country are descending on the
capital to join the fray.

“There can be no compromise with a dictator. [Yanukovych] must
one armed protester to Mashable.

The unrest is not exclusive to Kiev, though. It has
to 16 different cities. While government forces focus on
the capital city, police stations have been set ablaze and
government buildings
around the country.

Anti-Yanukovych rhetoric is
also gearing up among political figures and provoking dissent among
the police.

Although opposition representatives like Vitali Klitschko have
long advocated for a non-violent resolution and have previously
made concessions for peace, they refused to bend to Yanukovych’s
demands yesterday that protesters abandon their stronghold. “We
will not go anywhere from here,”
Klitschko. “This is an island of freedom and we will
defend it.”

One minority member of parliament, Lesya Orobets, condemned the
government’s aggression, and
upon her countrymen: “Rise, Ukraine, Rise all Ukraine. A
life without dignity is not worth living.”

Lviv’s mayor, a political independent, took a definite stance by
openly urging
the law enforcement in his city to “go out and use your weapons to
protect the people – your relatives, neighbors, and friends.”

Another parliamentary member claims
that police officers in Kiev have already defected and opened fire
on Berkut.

Meanwhile, at least 26 members of Yanukovych’s party have

fled the country

For more Reason coverage on the Ukrainian
Revolution, click here

from Hit & Run

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