UCC DEEPLY OUTRAGED BY YANUKOVYCH REGIME’S USE OF TERROR AGAINST UKRAINIAN PEOPLE
CANADA IMPOSES EXPANDED TRAVEL BAN AND ECONOMIC SANCTIONS
Today, Ukraine’s Minister of Interior Affairs Zakharchenko ordered that deadly force be used against the people of Ukraine. Security forces were issued live rounds and snipers and automatic weapons were used against demonstrators in Kyiv. Between 70 and 100 people have been killed. Hundreds are wounded.
“The Ukrainian Canadian Congress expresses its deepest sympathy to all those who have lost family and friends, and expresses its deep outrage at the illegal and brutal actions of the authorities against the citizens of Ukraine,” stated UCC National President Paul Grod. “On the day the declared to be a Day of Mourning for the over 25 people killed on 18 February, President Yanukovych has in effect declared war against his own people.”
Today’s violence is the latest example of what has been a systemic, targeted and vicious campaign of terror by the authorities against Ukrainian citizens who are demonstrating for the protection of human dignity, freedom of speech and expression, and their inalienable right to live in a country where the authorities represent the interests of the own people. Doctors and journalists have been targeted by the authorities, who have also employed hired thugs or “titushky” to attack demonstrators. The citizens of Kyiv have responded by bravely defending their city and their country against the brutality of the authorities. Ukrainians all over the country have taken to the streets to defend their rights.
“Today’s events are a crime against humanity instigated by the Yanukovych regime,” stated Grod. “The president swore an oath to protect Ukrainian citizens and the Ukrainian Constitution. He has broken that oath,” continued Grod.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress calls on the president of Ukraine to immediately order the removal of troops from the streets of Kyiv. The UCC calls for immediate negotiations under international mediation between the regime, civil society leaders, and the political opposition. The spilling of innocent blood must be stopped immediately.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress welcomes the resolutions passed by Ukraine’s parliament today, by 236 deputies, which:
– bans the firing of weapons by the authorities;
– demands the return of special forces to their bases of permanent location;
– demands the unblocking by the authorities of all traffic and movement of citizens in Kyiv;
– demands that the Cabinet of Ministers and Security Services stop the “anti-terrorist” action;
– reiterates that a state of emergency can only be declared by Parliament
The resolution is an important first step to finding a way out of the crisis.
The UCC welcomes the decision by the Government of Canada to “expand the travel ban” on Ukrainian officials and other individuals who bear responsibility sanctions against the regime and its decision to “impose economic sanctions on the Yanukovych regime and its supporters”. The UCC commends the Government of Canada for its continued leadership and support of the people of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress welcomes today’s decision by the European Union to implement sanctions against officials responsible for the violence in Ukraine.
The UCC calls upon all Canadians to provide humanitarian and medical assistance to aid the people in Ukraine including those who were wounded today. The UCC continues to call for a mission to monitor the developments in Ukraine, most importantly the situation with human rights.
The UCC once again underlines its complete solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and their brave struggle to protect their dignity, human rights, and democracy in Ukraine.