From Fox News:
As fires burned in Kiev during a second night of deadly clashes between Ukraine dissidents and police, President Viktor Yanukovych fired his military chief and the military announced it could take part in a national anti-terrorist operation to restore order.
The move, announced in a decree from Yanukovych, came a day after 26 people were killed and nearly 425 injured in clashes between police and protesters at the sprawling protest camp in central Kiev.
The announcement boded ill for any reconciliation efforts between Yanukovych’s government and the protesters who have demanded his resignation for nearly three months. Officials have often referred to the demonstrators as “terrorists.”
When Egyptians, Libyans, and Syrians protested the brutal, authoritarian regimes that oppressed freedom and spilled blood in the streets, the Obama administration demanded justice, angrily defended the protestors and demanded change. But because of their failures, Egypt, Libya and Syria have all descended into chaos.
Ukraine is a nation straddling the East and the West, bordering Asia and Europe. Not so long ago, it was seriously considered a candidate for entry into NATO and the European Union. But the “Reset” with Russia has failed to produce the results we were promised. Even if the Obama administration wanted to speak on behalf of Ukrainians, who would listen?
Pray for Ukraine.
UPDATE: This from the Council on Foreign Relations:
Dozens Killed in Ukraine Protests
At least twenty-five people were killed after Ukrainian police officers in riot gear tried to push demonstrators, many armed with fire bombs and rocks, out of Kiev’s main square. The violence on Tuesday was the worst in nearly three months of protests and has raised fears of sparking a civil war (AP). President Yanukovich accused pro-European opposition leaders of attempting a violent coup, a view that was echoed by Russian president Vladimir Putin, who spoke to his Ukrainian counterpart after the deadly clashes on Tuesday (Reuters). Western capitals expressed alarm at the bloodshed in Kiev. European officials called for implementing “targeted measures” against those responsible for the violence; Vice President Joe Biden spoke to Yanukovich by phone to urge resraint (BBC).
“Where is the West in all this? While all this was going on in Kiev, two opposition leaders, Arseny P. Yatsenyuk and Vitali Klitschko, were meeting in Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel. The reception they received is nice, but it’s no substitute for an economic aid package to convince Ukrainians that they can get a better deal out of the EU than out of Russia. Both the EU and the U.S. are said to have been working on such a package but behind-the scenes negotiations have produced scant results,” writes CFR Senior Fellow Max Boot in Commentary.
“Moscow’s liberals are watching Kiev with a mix of horror, envy, and admiration: they’re just like us, but look at what they’ve been able to do against a president they didn’t like. Which is why Russian state controlled television is also showing a live feed of Kiev burning: you want to overthrow the government, well, watch the tires burn black through the night and the dead bodies stack up. This is what instability looks like, this is what democracy looks like,” writes Julia Ioffe in the New Republic.
“Late on Tuesday evening, government police forces and Yanukovich-hired thugs tried to force their way through the barricades around Independence Square. Once again, Mr. Putin’s man in Kiev has proved he is willing to turn to violence to save his skin. The U.S. and the EU have vaguely threatened sanctions against President Yanukovich, his inner circle and his supporters among the oligarchs. If not now, when? The longer the U.S. and the EU dither on the sidelines, the uglier Ukraine’s crisis will get,” the Wall Street Journal writes in an editorial.