December 22, 2014
Ukraine protesters occupy gov't building after talks fail
Ukrainian protesters have erected more street barricades and occupied a government ministry building after the failure of crisis talks with President Viktor Yanukovich, pointing to a further hot weekend of protest.
Yanukovich's Party of the Regions confirmed reports that two months of anti-government protests were spreading to other parts of the country, particularly the west, where "extremists" had seized regional administration buildings.
"The situation has grown sharper throughout the country," the party said in a statement in which it called on people to disregard the calls of "radical troublemakers" to turn out for protest rallies.
Opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko, who with two other opposition leaders failed to wring any concessions from Yanukovich late last night, said the only way out of the impasse lay with international mediation.
"Any discussion of how to settle the crisis in Ukraine must take place with the involvement of the international mediators of the highest level," a statement from his Udar party quoted him as saying.
"Instead of shifting to solving the situation by common sense, Yanukovich has declared war on his own people. He is trying to hold on to power at the price of blood and de-stabilisation of the situation in the country. He has to be stopped," the boxer-turned-politician said.
After news emerged last night that talks had been fruitless, about 1,000 demonstrators moved away from Kiev's Independence Square in the early hours and began to erect new barricades closer to presidential headquarters.