Today’s deal of compromise between the united opposition and Viktor Yanukovych has yielded little love from the Euromaidan crowds. So little, that violence may come of it. The fragile peace agreement is beneficial insofar as it maintains the tempers of the Kyivan crowds, but baseline concessions may be too little too late.
In response to the deal, Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh rejected the agreement, stating “We have to state the obvious fact that the criminal regime had not yet realized either the gravity of its evil doing,” and said the agreement failed to address the arrest of Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko, Berkut commanders involved in the murder of civilians, removal of General Prosecutor Pshonka and Defense Ministers, ban on the Party of Regions and Communist Party, and guarantees of safety for those involved in the opposition. He then called for the ‘people’s revolution’ to continue until there is a full removal of power from authorities. Euromaidan self-defense leader Andriy Parubiy insisted that elections be held as soon as possible, and reiterated that one of the main demands of protesters has been the resignation of President Yanukovych. Automaidan also announced it also would not accept anything short of Yanukovych’s resignation.
These are all valid claims. The concessions made today would have been acceptable to the crowds in November, maybe even January, but not after the massacre that occurred on the 20th. With blood on his hands, Yanukovych cannot command public confidence, even if it’s for 9 months. Nobody will pretend nothing happened for the next 9 months. A lame duck option isn’t possible.
Vitali Klitschko apologized to the crowd on Maidan if he offended anyone by shaking hands with Yanukovych, realizing he was at risk of losing the crowd, and thus the people’s, support. Activists on Maidan responded to the deal by booing opposition leaders. Then an anonymous Sotnia soldier took the stage with opposition leaders standing by speechless, and warned that if Yanukovych does not resign by 10am the next day, an armed coup would be staged. Even radical Oleh Lyashko expressed his support to the call that Yanukovych resign by the 10am deadline; “Either he resigns, or we take him away,” Lyashko told the crowd.
Yarosh made it clear that he and his men would not disarm or surrender state buildings unless the president capitulated. Coffins of the deceased were brought to the Euromaidan stage. To prove they weren’t kidding (unknowns) torched the summer home of pro-Russian and Putin family member Viktor Medvedchuk’s summer home. A message has been sent.
In the early morning, Andriy Parubiy, speaking in his capacity as leader of Maidan self-defense and security, announced that all opposition factions had agreed to take further action, and that the military was with them. He made clear that all government buildings in central Kyiv were under their control.
Parubiy, it seems, has succeeded in finding arguments for the Maidan. God willing! Now all the leaders of the Sotnia [companies] are declaring their consent to coordinated action, including the hundreds of the Right Sector” – journalist Natalia Ligacheva
Parubiy reappeared appeared on stage with military staff to a cheering crowd.
We’re in control of Kiev. We have seized control of the government quarter […] We created a headquarters in the Maidan and we will not tolerate any action without coordinating with it. We must show that when Kyiv is under the control of the Maidan, there will be order in Kyiv. Where there is Maidan, there will be order and discipline.”
At night, it was announced that Maidan self-defense formations had occupied all government buildings in Kyiv, including the Cabinet, Parliament, and most importantly the Presidential Administration. According to Parubiy, 700 (or 7 Sotnia, if that’s your preferred unit of measurement) currently occupy Parliament, 1,900 are in the Presidential Administration, and another 1,500 in the Interior Ministry. Their numbers grow as more conscripts join and disenfranchised police defect.
So far it doesn’t look like the Sotnia of Parubiy, Yarosh, and Danyliuk are going to wait for this to end on it’s own. They may just take it. And with the city devoid of police forces at the moment, it’s theirs for the taking.