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Fatalities reach 25 in Kiev riots

February 19, 2014, 11:42 UTC+3 KIEV

Nine Ukrainian law enforcers died of gunshot wounds in Kiev

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KIEV, February 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Fatalities reached 25 people in a standoff between rioters and law enforcers in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, the press service of the country’s Health Ministry reported on Wednesday.

Nine Ukrainian law enforcers died of gunshot wounds in Kiev, the country’s Interior Ministry reported.

“As many as 371 policemen turned for medical aid in departmental medical institutions, 349 of them were taken to hospital,” the ministry noted. Meanwhile, 74 law enforcers suffered gunshot wounds.

According to reports at 06:00 local time (GMT +2), 361 wounded people turned for medical aid in medical institutions in the city. 241 of them were taken to hospitals. The ministry said that 25 people were killed, eight of them died at hospitals, four died at a hospital of the Interior Ministry, 13 dead people were brought to the Kiev forensic expertise bureau.

Seventy-nine law enforcers, five journalists, one lawmaker and three children under 18 were taken to hospitals.


Publicly dangerous activity to be severely punished

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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