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Situation in Ukraine calming down

February 21, 2014, 17:54 UTC+3 KIEV
The Interior Ministry is to stop blocking off roads, the Defence Ministry to withdraw troops involved in the conflict, law enforcement to return to permanent bases
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© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin

KIEV, February 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Verkhovna Rada speaker Vladimir Rybak has signed a resolution to condemn violence that led to losses of lives.

“I’ve signed a resolution to condemn violence,” Rybak said at a plenary session.

The Ukrainian parliament has approved a resolution to return law enforcement structures to permanent bases. Such resolution was supported by 236 deputies on Thursday, February 20. The resolution envisages “completing a counter-terrorism operation in Ukraine and freeing detainees”.

So deputies made the Interior Ministry to immediately stop blocking off all roads in the country and the Defence Ministry to withdraw troops involved in the conflict. The government should provide assistance to families of dead and wounded people.

The opposition proposed to approve a law to release participants in protest actions from criminal persecution and to free ex-premier Yulia Timoshenko. “We should vote for a law to release (participants in protest actions) from criminal persecution. We insist Yulia Timoshenko be freed,” leader of the Batkivshchina faction Arseny Yatsenyuk said.

Infographics Kiev riots. February 20 Kiev riots. February 20
35 people killed in clashes In Kiev, Ukrainian Health Ministry says
Several thousands of people are currently on Independence Square where the situation is rather calm. The clouds of smoke are rising over the square. At a barricade near the Kreshchatik metro station radicals are burning tyres. There are few pedestrians in the central part of the city. Transport traffic is rare. No one can see policemen, who have patrolled the city these days.

The situation is calm near a railway station. People are few, but food stores, banks and administrative institutions are opened. The number of vegetable, fruit, bakery stands is diminishing while one approaches downtown Kiev.

Employers are lifting a mourning ribbon from the state flag. “All is calm. People go to work,” they say.

However, handles are twisted off at doors of the district’s administration to prevent opening the door from outside.

Essential commodities are bought at food stores. “Goods - bread, water, eggs and fruits - are delivered at night. We work day-and-night,” an employee of a food store told Itar-Tass.

Kiev’s metro has resumed working in full. Transfer stations, which have been closed since February 18, have started functioning.

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