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Presidential staff: Massive riots in Ukraine have signs of heinous crimes

February 19, 2014, 11:10 UTC+3 KIEV

"Publicly dangerous activity will be compulsorily punished in the most severe way," first deputy chief of Ukrainian presidential staff Andrei Portnov stated

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KIEV, February 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Seizure of weapons, stations of police and security forces, which take place in Ukraine, should be “punished severely according to the law,” first deputy chief of Ukrainian presidential staff and member of the task group for settlement of political crisis Andrei Portnov said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Publicly dangerous activity will be compulsorily punished in the most severe way. We urge all offenders who committed these crimes to lay down arms and avoid harsh punishment. We urge all of them to stop illegal action, surrender to law enforcers and vacate all captured buildings and transport communications,” the statement runs.

Portnov noted that this should be done “to preserve peace and calmness in our country, unity of the state and civil tranquility.


Presidential statement

Earlier on Wednesday, President Viktor Yanukovich made an address on the official website saying that Ukrainian opposition has crossed the line, when they urged people to take up arms and this is “blatant violation of the law.”

 “Proceeding from this, I urge once again opposition leaders, who claim that they are seeking for peaceful settlement, to separate immediately from those radical forces, which provoke bloodshed and clashes with law enforcement agencies. Otherwise, if they do not want to go away, they should admit that they support radically minded forces. And then other talks will be held with them,” the president said.

He also noted that opposition leaders had neglected the main principle of democracy that people come to power only at polling stations, not in streets and squares. “I said many times to them (oppositionists) that election will be held soon. If people place trust in you, you will be in power. If they don’t do it, you won’t be in power. But all this should take place lawfully according to the constitution,” Yanukovich noted.

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