Editor’s Note: EuroMaidan participants and political opposition leaders held a Jan. 19 rally in response to new measures signed into law on Jan. 17 by President Viktor Yanukovych that restrict freedom of speech and peaceful protest in many ways. The rally turned into a violent confict with police and protesters that continues on Jan. 20 with more than 100 people injured.
EuroMaidan started Nov. 21 on Independence Square in opposition to Yanukovych’s foreign policy U-turn away from the European Union in favor of Russia.The events can be followed on Twitter using hashtags #euromaidan and #євромайдан or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/EuroMaydan or http://www.facebook/EuroMaidanPR
Freedom House condemns targeted violence against journalists
11:55 p.m., Jan. 20 In a statement posted to its website, Freedom House writes that it is deeply concerned by Ukrainian authorities’ targeted violence against journalists during the public protests in that have engulfed the city of Kyiv.
“According to the Institute of Mass Information, which promotes the training of journalists in Ukraine, 26 journalists were injured by police as violence escalated during the protests. Two of the injured journalists were detained by the police. According to another group, ‘Stop Censorship,’ several journalists asserted that police specifically targeted reporters, including firing at them with rubber bullets,” the statement reads.
It continued: “Freedom House calls on the Ukrainian government to ensure protection of journalists and press freedom and hold accountable police officers for violence. — Christopher J. Miller
Violence heats up as evening wears on
10:45 p.m., Jan. 20 Some 10,000 demonstrators are on the scene now at Dynamo Stadium in Kyiv, as protesters throw Molotov cocktails and fireworks at a police cordon as other demonstrators keep drumming as if making a call to battle. Police retreated 10 meters because of the attacks, but keep their positions by attacking protesters with tear gas and gunfire with rubber bullets as ammunition — Oksana Grytsenko
Protesters shoot fireworks at police officers around 9 p.m.
After visiting Akhmetov house, EuroMaidan calls on Communist Party member of parliament in London
10 p.m., Jan. 20 A crowd of 100 EuroMaidan protesters in London marched from the apartment of Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov to the apartment of Oksana Kaletnik, a Ukrainian member of parliament from the Communist Party. “As Orwell would say, some are more equal than others!” sid Andy Hunder, director of the London Ukrainian institute, pointing up at Kaletnik’s apartment, one of most expensive in London. —Richard Martyn-Hemphill
Draconian anti-speech, anti-demonstration laws take effect on Jan. 21
9:45 p.m., Jan. 20 Svoboda Party member of parliament Yuriy Miroshnychenko released a number of photographs of Tuesday’s print run of the parliament newspaper Holos Ukrainy, which is the official plce for publication of new laws. Once the paper hits the newsstands, the law be in effect, giving President Viktor Yanukovych multiple legal ways to crack down on protesters, activists, journalists and civil society. —Katya Gorchinskaya
Protesters come to Akhmetov’s home
9:39 p.m., Jan. 20 About 90 EuroMaidan protesters have gathered outside the London apartment of Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s wealthiest billionaire. Chants of “Akhmetov stop Yanukovych!” and “Akhmetov stop the bloodshed!” Signs of “Akhmetov stop the dictatorship,’ But there is still no sign of Akhmetov himself, unlike a similar demonstration in Donetsk on Dec. 31 when the billionaire stopped his Mercedes, got out and complained to protesters about their actions. —Richard Martyn-Hemphill
Conflict rages on Hrushevskoho Street
9:30 p.m., Jan. 20 Protesters have tried out their newly built catapault to launch rocks and other projectiles. It worked. In fact, it worked so well that police retaliated with flash grenades. Riot police stood in the trees near the entrance to Dynamo Stadium, the new epicenter of the EuroMaidan conflict since violent clashes broke out on Jan. 19 as protesters attempted to move on Ukraine’s parliament building. Some officers tried to descend on protesters, but were beaten back by demonstrators wielding Molotov cocktails and metal bars. Police also threw what appeared to be Molotov cocktails. Police snipers appear to be on rooftops, but they are being exposed with fireworks and lasters by protesters. The agitators have found a fire hose to spray water at police, but found that the officers are out of reach. The situation remains tense, yet the crowd is not intimidated by the massive police presence, which is probably in the thousands. Protesters continue to be drums, metal sheets, fencing, buses with sticks to keep the noise level. The tension remains high — Jakub Parusinski
Lutsenko, nation’s former top cop, warns police
7:54 p.m., Jan. 20 After protesters on Hrushevskoho Street sang the national anthem, opposition leader and ex-Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko spoke using a megaphone. He armed police against using force against protesters, telling them they are young men who will never be able to wash the bloof of their hands if they attack the “revolutionary people.” Meanwhile, the clashes are getting more violent, with lots of fires around the conflict zone and explosions all the time. –– Daryna Shevchenko
Yanukovych TV speech draws boos on Independece Square
7:37 p.m. As President Viktor Yanukovych’s speech to the nation calling for peace was broadcast on the big TV screen on Independence Square, people started booing and shoting “Shame!” — Oksana Grytsenko
Yanukovych warns against further violence
6:58 p.m. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych released a statement in which he condemned the violence and called on Ukrainians to go off th streets, take part in the dialogue and stop following those who want to use violent methods in a fight for power. He also said he is going to use all the possible lawful ways to guarantee peace in the country. “I belive in wisdom of our people and I am ready to serve Ukraine as long as I can and have people’s trust.” Yanukovych wrote in his address to Ukrainian nation. — Daryna Shevchenko
No talks between Yanukovych, opposition
6:50 p.m. President Viktor Yanukovych’s offer of negotiations is being spurned by the political opposition unless he directly participates in the talks. Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko said that as a condition today for negotiations to end Ukraine’s two-month long political crisis. Instead, Yanukovych assigned National Security and Defense Council chif Andriy Klyuyev to coordinate the talks. To some, the choice signaled that Yanukovych is not serious about resolving the crisis, since Klyuyev is blamed by some for ordering a violent police crackdown on demonstrators on Nov. 30. It’s fair to say that few people among the political opposition or EuroMaidan leadership have high hopes that Yanukovych will compromise. Thus, they are digging in for a long political struggle. –– Brian Bonner
Catapult at Hrushevskogo Street ready to fire
6:13 p.m. Protesters at Hrushevskogo Street have finished construction of a catapult and a big slingshot. The final stage is to move the catapult closer to the barricades separating the police from the demonstrators. Protesters have already made a corridor for the new potential weapon and chant “Load it!” Member of parliament Oleh Lyashko was also at the scene, handing out wooden baseball bats and helmets to protesters. — Olga Rudenko
Tymoshenko backs radicals, accuses authorities of provoking clashes
6:04 p.m. Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine’s imprisoned ex-prime minister and opposition leader, expressed support of activists engaged in clashes and a tense standoff with riot police officers in Kyiv. “If I were free I would be with you at Hrushevskoho Street,” Tymoshenko said in her letter from prison, where she is serving her seven-year prison term in a case widely believed to be a political reprisal of President Viktor Yanukovych. “Freedom is worth such a fight.” Tymoshenko addresses to the authorities, whom she called “shameful bastards in power,” claiming that they were responsible for provoking “peaceful and optimistic Ukrainians” to apply violent measures. “You are the mafia in power. You have deserved this long ago, and now to stop people you have to voluntary and immediately sink into oblivion,” Tymoshenko added. — Oksana Grytsenko
Pshonka blames opposition for mass clashes between protesters, police
5:43 p.m. An official video address of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka was posted on the official Prosecutor’s General Office website on Jan. 20. Pshonka called the situation in the country very complicated and called on opposition politicians to take their supporters off the streets. “The current situation is a result of two months of rhetoric of irresponsible politicians, their shallow promises and impunity for crimes,” he said in his video address. “Law and constitution are the essense of democratic state and talking to the state in the language of ultimatums, stones and Molotov cocktails is unacceptable,” he added. — Daryna Shevchenko
More than 200 people seek medical help
5:17 p.m. According to Oleh Musiy, the head of the EuroMaidan medical service, more than 200 people have sought medical help. “Two-thirds of injured activists at the Hrushevskogo Street clashes between protesters and riot police on Jan. 19-20 ask EuroMaidan medical staff for help instead of state ambulances because of rumors that those taken away by ambulances are being arrested by police on the way to hospitals, though such cases are not confirmed,” he told the Kyiv Post. The majority of victims have head and leg trauma or cuts. The Interior Ministry website also reports that more than 100 police officers also asked for medical help, with 61 law enforcement officers hospitalized. — Nataliya Trach and Daryna Shevchenko
Protesters fire fireworks at police.
More than 20 activists detained by police
4:43 p.m. The Interior Ministry reports that Ukraine’s police have detained more than 20 activists who took part Jan. 19 clashes between protesters and riot police. “We don’t divide detained for their political views or profession, but detain all who were witnessed to take active part in unlawful actions,” the statement reads. However, according to Svoboda Party spokesman Yuriy Syrotiuk, the number is actually higher. He estimates that more than 30 people are detained. One of them, Ivan Loza, is a journalist and a member of the EuroMaidan press service. Loza’s journalist ID was taken away by police who detained him late on Jan. 19 as he took pictures of the clashes, Syrotiuk told the Kyiv Post. — Daryna Shevchenko and Nataliya Trach
Golos Ukrainy to publish new laws soon
4:31 p.m. Opposition Batkivshchyna Party member of parliament Andriy Pavlovsky wrote on his Facebook page that the Golos Ukrainy government newspaper is being asked to speed up publication of the draconian new laws curbing free speech and free assembly rights, passed on Jan. 16 and signed into law the next day by President Viktor Yanukovych. The laws come into effect when they are published by teh newspaper. — Daryna Shevchenko
Council of Ministers of European nations urges overnment “to meet aspirations of people”
4:00 p.m. The Council of Ministers of the European Union, which included Ukraine’s crisis into its agenda for the Jan. 20 session, adopted the following conclusions after the meeting:
1. Recalling the statement of Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton on Jan. 17, the council expresses deep concern about the legislation passed by the Verkhovna Rada on Jan. 16 under doubtful procedural circumstances. These legislative acts would significantly restrict the Ukrainian citizens’ fundamental rights of association, media and the press, and seriously curtail the activities of civil society organisations. The EU calls on the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that these developments are reversed and that its legislation is brought in line with Ukraine’s European and international commitments.
2. The EU is very concerned about recent developments in Ukraine and urges all actors to seek through an inclusive dialogue a democratic solution to the current political crisis that would meet the aspirations of the Ukrainian people. It calls on all actors to exercise restraint and on the authorities to fully respect and protect the peaceful demonstrators’ right to assembly and speech, and the freedom of the press. All acts of violence must be duly investigated and those responsible brought to justice.
3. Recalling the Council’s Conclusions of Dec. 10, 2012, the EU remains committed to Ukraine’s political association and economic integration, based on the respect for common values, and to signing the Association Agreement with its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, as soon as Ukraine is ready.
Protesters throw rocks, police throw them back
3:49 p.m. Sometimes the standoff between police and protesters looks more like a schoolyard rumble, with a lot of posturing on both sides and a reluctance to engage in violence for understandable reasons (nobody wants to get hurt). The rocks and Molotov cocktails the protesters hurl at police from a distances are not likely to cause serious injury, considering that the police are standing usually out of range and protected by shields and helmets. And many of the protesters’ shots didn’t hit their mark. he protesters, on the other hand, are understandably wary of police, who could strike with batons or guns with rubber bullets. There are deadlier weapons at police disposal, even so to make rock throwing seem innocent. — Brian Bonner
A police officer takes a rock thrown at him and throws it back.
Police fire guns with rubber bullets as protesters lob Molotov coctails
3 p.m. The main scene of the protest is now at the gates of the Dynamo Stadium near Mariinsky Park. Protesters are throwing Molotov cocktails at the police from there. Meanwhile, at least four Berkut riot-control police officers are seen firing rubber bullets over the park’s fence. — Olga Rudenko
Journalists injured in clashes
2.45 p.m. The Institute of Mass Information has published a list of 15 journalists who were injured during the clashes of police and protesters on Kyiv’s Hrushevskogo Street on Jan.19 and Jan. 20. It includes Yevhen Feldman, Russian photojournalist of Nova Gazeta (New Newspaper) whose nose was damaged by a flash grenade on Jan.19, Ihor Iskhakov and Dmytro Barkara, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalists, who were beaten by police officers when Barkara was detained by police on Jan.20, Maks Levin, photographer of online publication Livyi Bereg, who was beaten by hired thugs on Hrushevskogo street on Jan.20, among others. The full list is available here. It’s constantly updated. –- Anastasia Forina
A tale of fire and ice
2.25 p.m. Fires from Molotov cocktails are burning everywhere on Hrushevskogo Street. Police have started using two water hoses to ice down the dead zone between groups. — Christopher J. Miller
Tension high with tear gas and stones
1.50 p.m. Clashes continue on Hrushevskogo Street and situation is tense. Police are firing tear gas to counter protesters tossing stones. A large police presence includes 500 officers. More than 5,000 people are watching as about 200 radical protesters engage police in occasional confrontation. — Christopher J. Miller
Activists demand EU sanctions
12.25 p.m. Around 300 activists have gathered in front of the European Union delegation office in Kyiv. They chant “We need EU help,” “Sanctions,” “Together we are strong” and hold banners that read “Bloody money kills democracy.: The rally is initiated by the public sector of EuroMaidan. Dariya Kaleniuk, a civic activist who works for the Anticorruption Action Center, says that Europe has been keeping silent too long. “Now, after yesterday’s events, it’s time to freeze assets and impose real sanctions, instead of talks,” Kaleniuk says. Yaryna Yasynevych, another participant of the rally is sure if EU dosen’t impose sanctions, it will “support dictatorship”. Opposition was unable to to deal with the government, so it’s up to EU to do something, she said. The activists listed their demands in a letter to EU representatives. The activists ended an action singing national anthem. — Olena Goncharova
Some 2,000 protesters mass
11.55 a.m. Around 2,000 protesters are now at Hrushevskogo Street, including several hundred radicals who are throwing Molotov cocktails and smoke bombs against riot police officers. Several hundred Berkut officers are standing in rows on the hills. They are using tear gas against protesters. –- Olga Rudenko
Explosives and smoke bombs heighten danger
11:18 a.m. Thousand of protesters on Hrusehvskoho Street are tossing smoke bombs, while police are throwing flash grenades. Some of the protesters come near the barricades in small groups carrying wooden shields; one uses the door of street toilet as a shield. Hundreds of police officers stand in rows behind the burned-out police buses now used as barricades to separate the two sides. Almost no women are seen among the protesters. People keep coming to the site despite sub-freezing temperatures. Activists sing the national anthem. Riot-control police officers start using bullets against the demonstrators who come too close to the police officers. — Olga Rudenko
Two journalists reportedly detained
10:31 a.m. Police detained two Radio Svoboda journalists in the morning of Jan 20, according to Ukrainska Pravda web site. The reporters were filming the morning scene on Hrushevskoho Street at 8 a.m. and they came close to the police officers. Currently the journalists are kept in prisoner transport vehicle on Hrushevskoho Street. — Olena Goncharova
Rumors lead to sleepless nights
10:13 a.m. The internet community in Ukraine woke up with a buzz of worries about the use of force by the police instead of the promised government’s negotiations.
Photo and video evidence started to surface about excessive violence used by riot troops during the night-long clashes and that regular bullets were used against the demonstrators, as well as rubber ones. Twitter is full of reports that most of the journalists who were doing live video feeds suffered minor injuries, and suspicions are surfacing once against the journalists may have been targeted intentionally, similarly to Dec. 1 clashes where some 50 journalists were injured. In the meantime, bloggers also report seeing the mobilization of “titushki,” athletic thugs hired by pro-government forces for rallies, and that they are flocking to a meeting point by Arsenalna metro station. — Katya Gorchinskaya
A police officer takes aim and fires guns with rubber bullets directly at a journalist.
EuroMaidan lives and enters its 61st day on Jan. 20
6 a.m. By the time the Kyiv metro opened at 6 a.m., police and protesters on the front lines of the battle had considerably ratcheted down their violent conflict that started about 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 19. They also kept their distance from each other, staying 30 to 50 meters apart and watching each other warily, aware that both sides can inflict injuries after fighting on Jan. 19 that wounded 100 people — most of them police officers who were badly outnumbered by tens of thousands of protesters.
The riot-control police had the higher ground up the hill from Dynamo Stadium and next to Mariinsky Park. However, the activists — dwindling to 2,000 strong in the wee hours of the morning — were holding their own. Protesters continued to lob Molotov cocktails towards the police, most often missing their mark. Groups of men would gather behind police shields stolen from yesterday’s conflict or makeshift shields and try to advance on the riot police line to get a better shot.
Police, for their part, fired shots from guns using rubber bullets on occasion. They also threw flash grenades from time to time that made terribly loud noises, but usually caused no damage, except to the ears.
Protesters patrolled their perimeter, which included parts of Mariinsky Park, in groups of stick-wielding men who covered their faces with masks and often wore orange hardhats. In the dark, it was hard to tell who was who among the protesting side, friend from foe, or whether plainclothes police officers were infiltrating the ranks of the protesters to gather information. Every once in awhile, EuroMaidan leaders would come around and spread the latest news. This morning, it was a reported plan by police to storm the protesters’ barricades and attack by 4 a.m. But no attack materialized.
Around 5 a.m., activists were trying hook up a hose to the city water supply for some reason, but never succeeded. They were adding to their fortified defenses by stripping everything they could pry loose — fences, poles, sticks, garbage dumpers — to reinforce their positions. The charred remains of the police buses seized and burned by demonstrators the day before remained the biggest barricades between the two sides.
Throughout the night, police never stopped shooting water from a cannon, in a high arc, down the hill. It quickly froze, making the barrier between the two sides slippery — and making physical fights less likely.
Behind them in Mariinsky Park, protesters had set up barricades to prevent the police from attacking in the rear.
The pedestrian “Love Bridge” — on which lovers fasten locks etched with their names as symbols of eternal love — was unpassable. Protesters had upended dumpsters and park benches and stacked them across the bridge, making any crossing laborious and slow. Still, Berkut police officers stood watch at the other side of the bridge and patrolling groups of protesters were on alert for any signs of movement by the police that would indicate a violent raid was imminent.
The whole atmosphere was surreal and, yes, warlike — the smell of fire, smoke and tear gas, the scent of danger and the ominous drumming that protesters kept up just to make noise. One woman incessantly beat a metal fence with a stick. There was also the continual pounding on the road of shovels as demonstrators dug up and dislodged the Hryshevskoho Street stone road surface, brick by brick, for use as weapons if necessary. They stacked the bricks all over.
The spontaneous popular uprising shows no sign of ending at this point, even though President Viktor Yanukovych has called for peace talks today. It’s clear that while some are branding the agitators as extremists, they had the support of the crowd behind them during the Jan. 19 mass rally that drew tens of thousands of people at its peak.
Jan. 19’s conflict was triggered by a sense of frustration and exasperation with the uncompromising Yanukovch, whom the protesters despise and want to topple, but also impatience with political opposition leaders who, in the opinion of the masses, do more talking than leading.
It was clear that the crowds who have been turning out for demonstrations, sometimes daily and always on Sunday, had grown weary of the routine of rallying by day and going home at night with no discernible action or progress.
Legislation signed into law by Yanukovych on Jan. 17 to curb peaceful protests and free speech pushed the activist public over the edge.
On Jan. 19, the crowds even started booing opposition political leaders when they spoke from the stage. Many said they wanted to see leadership, action and a united front from the three main opposition leaders in parliament. Many were also frustrated with the West, including the European Union and the United States, for issuing statements of support but taking no other tangible action.
Even the most militant of Ukraine’s opposition leaders, Svoboda Party’s Oleh Tiahnybok, got jeered as weak when he spoke on stage. The traditional chants of “Bandits, get out!” and “Glory to Ukraine!” and “Glory to its Heroes” had become tiresome.
Arseniy Yatseniuk, the opposition leader of imprisoned ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna Party, may have inadvertently whetted the people’s appetite for action when he dismissed calls for a united opposition leader. “I’ll tell you who the leader is — it’s the Ukrainian people,” he said. “Our unity, our common struggle — that is the key to our true Ukrainian leadership.”
And so that’s what the crowd did — led and took action by supporting hundreds of aggressive young men who took the front lines and risked prison terms if caught for attacking police.
When a protester sprayed a third opposition leader, Vitali Klitschko, with a fire extinguisher for trying to get between police and protesters, that person — and perhaps many in the crowd — was effectively saying: The politicians aren’t in charge of this revolution, the people are.
It will be interesting to see if the weekend’s events will lead Yanukovych to meaningful compromise. The reported movements of police and military to Kyiv suggest that the president just may be trying to buy time and manipulate or tamp down the public outrage. But the steadfastness of the demonstrators over the past two months suggests that Yanukovych would be making a miscalculation if he ignores their demands or doesn’t take them seriously. — Brian Bonner
4:58 a.m. Channel 5’s Andriy Kovalov wrote on his Facebook page that two protesters were caught by riot police officers who made them take off their clothes, beat them, poured water on them and made them run naked to Independence Square. Now both protesters are doing fine, EuroMaidan activists report. No comment from police was immediately forthcoming. — Daryna Shevchenko
The video shwoing two men beaten by police running up to Independance Square for rescue.
Poroshenko talks to protesters and journalists
4:34. a.m. Millionaire businessman and member of parliament Petro Poroshenko, who supports the EuroMaidan goals, came to Hrushevskogo Street in Kyiv, where clashes between protesters and riot police continue. He told journalists and activists that he is not invited to tomorrow’s roundtable and ensures that he is ready to take responsibility and help people build a new country. Protesters repeat that they are not happy with the Ukrainian opposition, repeating their main question is “Who will tell us what to do?” — Daryna Shevchenko
Sanctions applied against Zakharchenko?
3:50. a.m. Volodymyr Yavorivsky, a poet and opposition member of parliament with the Batkivshchyna Party, says that the United States has introduced sanctions against Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko, the top law enforcement officer in the nation. This information has not been confirmed. — Daryna Shevchenko
River of water from police cannons flows down Hrushevskoho Street
3:44 a.m. — Police are extensively using water cannons to fire on approaching protesters, who are throwing stones at the officers. Protesters continue to dig up cobblestones from the pavement and pile them up as weapons. A river of water is flowing down Hrushevskoho Street now. On Maidan, many activists are crowding by the barricades, fearing a police crackdown soon. Police are also using tear gas and flash grenades, causing demonstrators to cough. — Oksana Grystenko
More police arrive; protesters remain aggressive
3:30 a.m. — Hromodske TV is reporting that more riot-control police officers are moving to the scene of the conflict near Ukraine’s parliament, but that protesters are trying to take the offensive as several dozen activists brave water cannons in attempts to get closer to police. Up to 100 people are moving closer to the police barricades. Police continue responding with flash grenades, while a police sniper shooting rubber bullets reportedly continues firing on demonstrators. — Daryna Shevchenko
Digging up the street
3:20 a.m. — Many protesters, including girls, are digging stones out of the road pavement. They claim the stones will be used to construct barricades since activists fear police are about to storm the EuroMaidan tent city erected on Kyiv’s Independence Square and possibly take back Kyiv city hall and the Trade Unions Building now controlled by opposition forces. Of course, the stones also make convenient weapons to throw at police. — Oksana Grytsenko
Western Ukraine gives lift to EuroMaidan
3:10 a.m. — Western Ukraine, where opposition to President Viktor Yanukovych is the strongest and most intense, is proud that it has blocked military units in Ivano-Frankivsk who were destined to Kyiv. Meanwhile, AutoMaidan activists in Ternopil were chasing four police buses up to the neighboring city of Kremenets but were stopped by road police. — Daryna Shevchenko
AutoMaidan activists say they have blocked exit roads from Yanukovych’s Mezhyhyria
3:01 a.m. — Taras Shamyda, a journalist and activist, writes on Facebook that AutoMaidan activists have blocked all roads exiting Mezhyhyria — President Viktor Yanukovych’s multimillionaire-dollar estate north of Kyiv — and calls on other car owners to join the caravan and do the same. — Daryna Shevchenko
Molotov cocktails still flying out of protesters’ hands
2:55 a.m. — Protesters have not run out Molotov cocktails. A group of 20 people have moved closer to police to increase the chances of hitting officers on Khrushevskoho Street. — Daryna Shevchenko
Police say detainees include Svoboda Party, convicted murderer
2:45 a.m. The Interior Ministry said that among its detainees suspected of instigating police violence against are a member of the Svoboda Party and a convicted murder. — Christopher J. Miller
AutoMaidan activists say police are moving to Kyiv from Odessa
2:35 a.m. AutoMaidan activists said on their Twitter account that police reinforcements from Odessa are moving to Kyiv. AutoMaidan activists called on their supporters to block the move. –– Daryna Shevchenko
Lutsenko urges people to come out
2:33 a.m. Yuriy Lutsenko, the opposition leader and former interior minister, made this statement: “Now in Kyiv it is being decided whether our Ukraine will be free or not. Opposition leaders will be able to make authorities to fulfill EuroMaidan’s demand only if hundreds of thousands people will be there in the streets on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.” –– Daryna Shevchenko
Hromodske TV shows officer firing gun with rubber bullets on demonstrators
2:30 a.m. Hromodske TV’s live feed clearly shows a police officer firing a gun with rubber bullets repeatedly into a crowd of demonstrators, reportedly causing serious injuries. — Christopher J. Miller
Fires replaced with ice, but hatred remain hot
2:20 a.m., Jan. 20 — By now, the burnt skeletons of police vehicles have iced over, but the radical protesters’ determination has not cooled off. They wrap rocks in pieces of plastic and tied in handles to make them easier to throw at police. The officers are trying to discourage protesters by constantly pumping water out of cannons, but so far they are having no luck. Molotov cocktails occasionally are tossed by protesters and land among the police troops from the top of a building on Mizeiny Pereulok. The crowd cheers. Still several thousand people remain on the scene and look ready to stay the night. — Katya Gorchinskaya
Lviv protesters paint military windshields with red paint to prevent movement
1:59 a.m., Jan. 20 — Protesters in Lviv say they blocked movement from a military unit seeking to go to Kyiv and also painted windshields red to prevent the driving of the vehicles. –– Daryna Shevchenko
Report: Police from Donetsk being brought to Kyiv
1:57 a.m., Jan. 20 Journalist Denis Kazansky says he has video of police convoys from Donetsk going to Kyiv to help reinforce their colleagues in the capital. –Daryna Shevchenko
Donetsk journalist Denis Kazansky’s video of police convoys moving to Kyiv from Donetsk.
Lviv protesters say police stop hundreds enroute to Kyiv
1 a.m. Jan. 20 EuroMaidan Lviv reports that several buses bringing people to Lviv were stopped by road police and their drivers had their licenses confiscated. A separate report is that Lviv demonstrators stopped military units from moving to Kyiv, drawing approving “Lviv is with the people!” shouts from protesters. — Daryna Shevchenko
‘Titushki’ taking positions on Hrushevskoho Street?
12:45 a.m. Hromodske TV journalist Bohdan Kutepkov says that “titushky,” or paid thugs linked to the government, are amassing on Hrushevskoho Street near the EuroMaidan demonstrators. If true, this could mean more conflict. — Daryna Shevchenko
Police continue to use water cannons as protesters defend themselves
1:47 a.m., Jan. 20 — The fires are out on the seized and burned police vehicles, but police are using water cannons to keep protesters away. Some of the protesters, using shields they stole from police, are holding the shields over their head for protection while trying to advance on police. Ukrainian police used tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon in a bid to disperse the hundreds of people who sought to storm police cordons near the Verkhovna Rada parliament in the capital. — Christopher J. Miller.
Several thousand protesters remain on Hrushevskoho Street
12:40 a.m., Jan. 20 — Several thousand demonstrators remain on Hrushevskoho Street as a kiosk nearby on Dynamo Stadium burns. Volunteers are offering them sandwiches. Piles of pavement lie on the street. Doctors on the scene confirm that police used rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators.
Several hundred cars enroute to Yanukovych’s Mezhyhyria estate
12:30 a.m., Jan. 20 — Activists told Hromodske TV that several hundred cars are enroute to President Viktor Yanukovych’s Mezhyhyria estate north of Kyiv. On the EuroMaidan twitter feed, activists call on everyone who can to join the AutoMaidan car caravan rally to the president’s luxury mansion. — Daryna Shevchenko.
Demonstrators and police reinforce; doctors say more than 100 injured
12: 25 a.m. Jan. 20 – As fires subsided and the remaining police buses burned up, law enforcement removed non-essential vehicles and moved in additional riot police, who replaced less experienced officers from the Interior Ministry. Up to 3,000 police were on hand, forming columns and reinforcing their ranks. The Interior Ministry said that six police vehicles — four buses and two trucks — were burned. Police sirens were heard and an officer on a loudspeaker warned demonstrators that they were breaking the law and could face up to 15 years in prison.
Demonstrators, meanwhile, were triumphant and defiant. They were also still hurling Molotov cocktails at police. The protesters claim that they will have 15,000 people overnight from all over Ukraine to defend their positions on Independence Square from any police assault. “We have achieved our goal: freedom or death,” one protester said.
Oleksandr Sych, a member of parliament with the opposition Svoboda Party, told Hromodske TV that they blocked the movement of military outfits from bases in Ivano-Frankivsk and Kalush to prevent soldiers from being moved to Kyiv.
Doctors reported carrying out more than 100 injured people today. — Jakub Parusinski, Daryna Shevchenko and Christopher J. Miller.
OTHER VIDEO FROM JAN. 19.
Demonstrators beat two riot police officers who had charged them and got separated from the rest of the officers.
A day of tear gas and fire in Kyiv on Jan. 19.
Protesters set fire to a police bus today near European Square.
Protesters are triumphant after seizing a police bus.
Police and protesters clash on Hrushevskoho Street near the Verkhovna Rada today.
A police van burns near Dynamo Stadium.
Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko tries to intervene to bring order.
Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko gets doused with a fire extinguisher after taking a megaphone and trying to calm down radical protesters who seized police vans and attacked officers. Klitschko had to be restrained by assistants to stop him from charging the demonstrators.