KIEV (Reuters) – An east-west struggle over Ukraine turned nastier as Moscow accused the United States of fomenting a coup and Washington pointed a finger at Russia for leaking a recording of U.S. diplomats discussing how to shape a new government in Kiev.
As Russian President Vladimir Putin prepared to open the Winter Olympics at Sochi, the first Games in Russia since the Soviet Union hosted the 1980 summer edition, the showdown over Ukraine produced chilly Cold War rhetoric, with a Kremlin aide warning Moscow might act to block U.S. “interference” in Kiev.
KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s embattled president flew to Russia on Thursday as a senior Kremlin aide urged him to stamp out a standoff on the streets, calling it an attempted coup financed and armed by the United States.
Caught in a rip-tide of competing enticements and threats from Russia and the West, President Viktor Yanukovich flew to Sochi where he was expected to meet Vladimir Putin before the Russian leader opens the Winter Olympics on Friday evening.
KIEV (Reuters) – A senior Kremlin aide accused the United States on Thursday of arming Ukrainian “rebels” and, urging the Kiev government to put down what it called an attempted coup, warned it could intervene to maintain the security of its ex-Soviet neighbor.
Sergei Glazyev, an adviser to President Vladimir Putin with responsibility for relations with Ukraine, told a newspaper that U.S. “interference” breached the 1994 treaty under which Washington and Moscow jointly guaranteed Ukraine’s security and sovereignty after Kiev gave up its Soviet-era nuclear arsenal.
KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s acting prime minister blamed confrontation on the streets for a 10-percent slide in the currency since November that drove the hryvnia below 9 to the dollar on Wednesday for the first time in five years.
For many analysts, it suggested the central bank would no longer prop up the currency amid a fight over Ukraine’s future.
KIEV (Reuters) – A political gulf of historic dimensions divides Ukraine but down the hill from where parliament commenced a new session of mutual loathing on Tuesday, the gap on the ground narrows – to Molotov cocktail range.
At the foot of Hrushevsky Street, 20 meters of no man’s land, black ice on cobblestone, divides the riot police front line, immobile in black helmets behind tall steel shields, from militants manning barricades built of sacks packed with snow.
KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich will not use force to clear the streets and may challenge his opponents to early elections if they fail to compromise, according to reported comments by a political ally.
Emerging on the day the president returned from sick leave and as parliament convenes for a new term on Tuesday, it may be an attempt to break a deadlock that has gripped central Kiev – and Ukraine’s ailing economy – since November, when Yanukovich spurned an EU trade deal and sought aid instead from Russia.
KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s embattled president announced he would return to work after four days’ sick leave, as protesters filled Kiev’s main square on Sunday demanding he give up power.
Opposition leaders, addressing the crowd on their return home from meeting European and U.S. officials, said they hoped for international mediation in negotiations with the government and for constitutional change to limit presidential power.
KIEV (Reuters) – The Ukrainian government bowed to intense Western pressure on Sunday to let an opposition activist fly abroad for treatment after his abduction, torture and then attempted arrest by police outraged critics of President Viktor Yanukovich.
The embattled head of state, caught in a tug of war between Russia and the West and facing mass protests that have prompted fears of civil war, announced he would return from four days of sick leave on Monday. It was unclear whether he might resume hesitant moves toward compromise or hit back at his opponents.