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MOSCOW, January 21. /ITAR-TASS/. The State Duma lower house of Russian parliament intends to pass a new statement on Ukraine in view of a worsening situation in that country, Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said in his opening remarks at a plenary session on Tuesday.
“I believe we must return to discussion of the situation. We cannot watch it indifferently,” he said offering the Duma committee for CIS affairs to prepare a draft statement. “If the Duma Council agrees, the issue will be put for discussion of a Duma plenary session,” Naryshkin added.
On the eve, chairman of the Duma Committee for the CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots Leonid Slutsky expressed a view that the street confrontation has been staged with the participation of pro-Western non-governmental organizations. “Our ‘strategic friends’ in the West can’t allow Ukraine to bring closer with the Eurasian project. So, they’re providing funding to different non-government organizations that lead to street riots, which don’t combine with a civilized European idea,” Slutsky said.
The authors of the statement believe that clashes near the building of the cabinet of ministers “have been instigated and provoked by the radically minded militants of nationalistic organizations seeking to destroy the system of state power and to supplant the incumbent legitimate government.”
The legislators propose to ban the activities of the far-right ultra-nationalistic Svoboda party and any other nationalistic extremist organizations.
According to media estimates, about a thousand of protesters are confronting the law enforcers. Second day in a row, they try to break through the police cordon and approach the government and Verkhovna Rada buildings. Protesters demand that the deputies revoke the laws adopted January 16.
Law enforcers respond with sound bombs, tear gas and rubber bullets to actions of activists attempting to throw bottles with incendiary mixture to police.
Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s spokesperson Sergei Burlakov stated that January 19-20, over a hundred of police officers sought medical advice, and 60 of them were hospitalized. According to the protest action’s superintendant Andrei Parubia, hundreds of protesters already consulted doctors. Four grave cases were reported, and in three of them, the case in hand was eye-bulb removal due to concussion, and one of the injured needed hand amputation. Local media reported that over 20 journalists were injured in the clashes.
Burlakov said that protesters burned down four buses and two special cars of the Interior Ministry. “Losses amount to some 3 million hryvnia ($375,000). In addition, a ticket office near the entrance to the Lobanovsky stadium has been practically burned down, almost all the paving stones that were being thrown at the police were taken off,” Burlakov said.
Law enforcement agencies have detained 31 activists of the protest. Against nine of them were filed criminal cases under Article 294 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (“participation in mass riots”).