Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ukraine through the eyes of BBC correspondents

7 December 2013 Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych has held unscheduled talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on a strategic partnership treaty. Thousands of protesters continue to block government buildings and occupy the main square in the capital, Kiev. They are angry at the government's decision to reject an association agreement with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Russia.

 8 December 2013 Protesters in the Ukrainian capital have toppled a statue of Lenin, as demonstrations against President Viktor Yanukovich's government continue. A crowd estimated to be hundreds of thousands strong gathered in central Kiev for a third weekend of protests against Mr Yanukovich's decision to reject a pro-EU association pact.

11 December 2013 The Russian Federation Council's Mikhail Margelov has told BBC HARDtalk Russia's economic relationship with Ukraine is "pragmatic." Asked about reports of Russian officials placing heavy pressure on Ukraine not to sign a trade deal with the European Union, Senator Margelov said they were only trying to point out how "interdependent" Ukraine's economy is with those of other former Soviet countries - and that they could help Ukraine overcome its economic problems. Since late November, thousands of pro-EU Ukrainians have been protesting in Kiev over the government's decision not to sign the partnership deal with the EU and calling for the president and government to resign.

11 December 2013 Police in Ukraine have abandoned attempts to clear anti-government protesters from the capital Kiev. Violence erupted at the occupied city hall hours after riot police tried to clear nearby Independence Square. Now the protesters have reinforced the barricades and refused to move.

12 December 2013 The European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, says the president of Ukraine "intends to sign" a trade and cooperation agreement with the EU, after all. President Viktor Yanukovych rejected the deal last month, prompting mass protests. Demonstrators are still occupying Independence Square in the capital, Kiev. But Catherine Ashton told reporters Mr Yanukovych was now committed to signing up to the EU deal.