Ukrainian President Impeached: Turmoil And Unrest In Kiev - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Ukrainian President Impeached: Turmoil And Unrest In Kiev

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KIEV, Ukraine- It has been a week of fast-moving developments in Ukraine. Most recently, the Ukrainian Parliament voted to impeach President Viktor Yanukovich and has appointed its speaker as interim president. An arrest warrant has also been issued for Yanukovich who is now on the run. Following months long anti-government protests in the capital Kiev, demonstrators managed to change the balance of power in Europe and Central Asia.

The revolution began with a fiery miscalculation by the government last Tuesday when riot police tried to storm a three month old protest camp in the center of Kiev. The demonstrators held their ground, setting bonfires to keep the police at bay. Police couldn't take the square and by the next morning they were reduced to throwing stones.

The police didn't have much food or shelter either. Many were seen exhausted and sleeping on the streets. By day three, protesters felt they had the upper hand and charged police lines. Then the government made a second tragic mistake.  Riot police opened fire, killing nearly 80 demonstrators. In minutes, volunteers converted a nearby hotel into a field hospital.

The U.S. and other nations threatened sanctions and under pressure from Europe, Ukraine's pro-Moscow President Yanukovich agreed to limit his authority and hold new elections by the end of the year. The protesters sensed weakness and chose to push on.

They occupied Kiev starting with the presidential offices. Police abandoned their posts. Yanukovich fled for eastern Ukraine and demonstrators entered his Chalet. Kiev fell without a shot.

Hungry for information, people pressed their faces to the gates of parliament for updates broadcast on loudspeakers. Parliament was taking over the government. For the demonstrators, Yanukovich was a Russian puppet. This week Vladimir Putin's Realpolitik met 21st Century Internet-Politik as Tahrir-Square siege demonstrations came to Moscow's doorstep, making Russia wonder will there be more?

The protesters say they plan to stay in the Square to oversee a transition of power.

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