KIEV, January 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and opposition leaders have ended “the first stage” of their crisis management talks, the presidential press service said on Wednesday, January 22.
The meeting continued for more than three hours. No details have been released.
Attending the meeting were Arseny Yatsenyuk, leader of the opposition faction of the Batkivshchina party in the parliament; Vitali Klitschko, leader of the UDAR (PUNCH) party; and Oleg Tyuagnibok, leader of the Svoboda (Freedom) party.
National Security and Defence Council Secretary Andrei Klyuyev, presidential adviser Andrei Portnov and Justice Minister Yelena Lukash also took part in the meeting.
This was the first meeting between the opposition and the president since a new violent turn in the political crisis.
About 10,000 opposition supporters have gathered in Kiev’s Independence Square. Politicians and opposition MPs are addressing them from the podium. Most people are on the barricades, trying to reinforce them. Men and women, alike, are heading towards the barricades.
All shops in central Kreshchatik Street have closed. Parliament and government employees ended their working day earlier than usual.
However the confrontation is increasing. Protesters are hurling Molotov cocktails at the police who have taken up positions near the building of the presidential administration. The area is covered with thick acrid smoke.
Police are using loudspeakers to tell the protesters about new laws that have become effective and prohibit citizens from organising mass events and participating in them with covered faces, as well as setting up tents and using sound amplifiers. “All your actions are unlawful,” the police say.
However the protesters did not stop building the barricades even for a minute. They also keep bringing car tires and throwing them in the bonfires, which police are trying to extinguish.