KIEV, January 20, 21:42 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich called for dialogue, compromise and calm in the country.
“I am addressing you as conscientious citizens of our country who are well aware of the threats internal conflicts, discord and confrontation pose to Ukrainian society and the state,” the president said in an address to the nation on Monday, January 20.
He pledged to take all efforts to ensure public order and protect peaceful people’s rights. “I will use all legal and other lawful means to guarantee public calm and security of all our fellow citizens. I am convinced that you will hear me and support my efforts to stop the confrontation which has been provoked by those who want to fight for power by spilling other people’s blood,” he said, warning that “war and violence will destroy Ukraine.”
“I am addressing the residents of Kiev and other participants in mass assemblies. I am asking you not to follow those who call for violence, who try to provoke a split between the state and society and want to plunge Ukrainian people into the abyss of mass disobedience,” Yanukovich said.
The president said he had shown understanding for people’s participation in mass protests and had been ready to listen to their position and look for solutions together. “But now that peaceful events are developing into mass disturbances accompanied by riots, arsons and acts of violence, I am convinced that such developments pose a threat to the general public not only in Kiev but in the whole of Ukraine,” he said.
Mass clashes between demonstrators and police occurred in Kiev on Sunday, January 19, following the adoption of new laws that ban rallies and prohibit all form of public protests, unauthorised installation of tents, stages or use of loudspeakers in public.