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Ukrainian situation tense despite lull in confrontation

February 04, 2014, 18:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Kiev has grown tired of protests, and President Yanukovich has a chance to win the city back to his side - experts
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MOSCOW, February 04. /ITAR-TASS/. The situation in Ukraine remains tense, despite a lull in the standoff, said participants in the discussion arranged by Russia's Public Chamber on Tuesday.

"The situation remains tense, although stone-throwing has stopped. The center of confrontation shifted to the Verkhovna Rada facilities," said Director of the Kiev Center for Political and Conflict Studies Mikhail Pogrebinsky. "I believe the opposition will be unable to form a majority in parliament, so a new round of talks is inevitable."

Russian expert, Director of the Institute of CIS countries Konstantin Zatulin, addressed the ongoing changes in different parts of Ukraine against the background of protests. "Kiev, which initially supported the Maidan [protest movement], has grown tired of it. President Yanukovich now has the chance to win Kiev back to his side," Zatulin said.

He is also confident that Eastern Ukraine is awakening. "But the authorities are acting contrary to their interests, curbing the East's striving towards coming out against the West," the expert said.

The discussion about the situation in Ukrainian regions eventually focused on prospects for Ukraine's federalization. "The movement in that direction is palpable," chairman of the Russian Public Council for International Cooperation and Public Diplomacy Sergei Ordzhonikidze noted. "Perhaps, it is not the best form of political system but it's much better than any use of force."

Radicalization of protests

Participants in the discussion expressed concern over radicalization of protests and the emergence in Kiev's Independence Square of nationalist and even neo-Nazi slogans. "The opposition no longer controls the protest movement; it's controlled by radicals, "the third force", which consolidated within the framework of the Right Sector," chief researcher at the All Russia Research Institute of the Interior Ministry Igor Sundiyev said.

He noted that many militants operating in Kiev had been trained at specialized centers.

Director of the Democracy Problems Research Foundation, Public Chamber member Maxim Grigoryev noted that radicalization had long gone beyond the Ukrainian protest movement and the country itself.

"Anti-Russian sentiment is spread on the Internet and social networks, and praises are sung to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. I intend to ask prosecutors to check these materials," Grigoryev said.

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