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DAVOS, January 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Current developments in Kiev are tantamount to a coup attempt, Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov told reporters here Thursday.
“There’s a coup attempt unfolding there and everyone supporting it must say openly ‘Yes, we stand for supplanting the legitimate government’ and they mustn’t lurk behind the backs of peaceful protesters.”
“They’re besieging the headquarters of the Cabinet of Ministers and they have seized the building of the Lvov regional administration,” Azarov said. “Acting against us are paramilitaries, not an opposition of any kind.”
“What peaceful protests speak about when the so-called peaceful protester used Molotov cocktail bottles and broke into government buildings?” he asked with a somewhat rhetoric note.
At the same time, Azarov ruled out a possibility of an early presidential election.
“Under the Constitution, a regular presidential election is to be held within less than a year,” he said. “And do you think it’s possible to hold any elections whatsoever in a situation where the downtown areas of Kiev are practically blocked by paramilitaries?”
“Is it generally possible to hold an election amid unrest?” he asked somewhat rhetorically.
“As a first step, it’s important to normalize the situation in the country and to return to normal life and only then we could mull over whatever other things,” Azarov said. “Right now we should revert to normal life in this country.”
Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich came up with a proposal earlier in the day to consider the situation in the country at an emergency session of the Verkhovna Rada, the national parliament. He said it Thursday at a meeting with Rada speaker Vladimir Rybak.
“Mass disorders that have taken place recently unfolded on the background of violence, bloodshed, and arsons, and this means the situation requires immediate settlement today,” Yanukovich said. “This means the situation calls for an immediate settlement. I’d like to ask the MPs to get together and to discuss the situation.”
Clashes between the police and the rioting activists and proponents of rightwing ultra-nationalistic forces began in the area of Kiev’s Grushevsky Street January 19. All in all, some 157 participants in ‘popular protest actions’ turned for medical aid, Kiev city administration said.
Somewhat earlier, the Office of the Prosecutor General confirmed the previous reports on two deaths.
The Interior Ministry says a total of 73 people have been taken to police stations for involvement in mass disorders.
“As many as 52 of them were detained for procedural considerations in the framework of a criminal case on charges of mass disorders,” the report said. “The court authorized custody as a pretrial measure for 21 detainees.