As fierce clashes in Ukraine’s capital Kiev continued for a second day Russia’s Foreign Minister accused the West of fomenting unrest that was “spinning out of control.”
“We are aware on the strength of available information that this [violence in Kiev] is being largely incited from outside the country,” Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday.
Violent confrontation between protesters and police, which began on Sunday, resumed on Monday night and continued till early Tuesday. The Demonstrators hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at police, who responded with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets.
The scene of the clashes on Hrushevskyy Street in central Kiev looked like a warzone, with burning carcasses of police vans, makeshift barricades and stones dug up from the pavement.
The violence marked dramatic radicalisation of two-month-long peaceful protests against the Ukrainian government’s decision not to sign a key association pact with the European Union and to strengthen instead alliance with Russia.
Ukraine’s mainstream opposition denounced violence but appeared to have little control over right-wing extremists from the “Right Sector” group who reportedly led the attacks on police.
The opposition leaders’ calls for prudence “show that the situation is spinning out of control,” Mr Lavrov said.
He warned the West to stop interfering in Ukraine’s crisis.
“We would prefer that some of our European colleagues refrained from acting unceremoniously over the Ukrainian crisis, when, without any kind of invitation, members of several European governments rushed to Maidan [Independence Square in Kiev], took part in anti-government demonstrations in a country, with which they have diplomatic relations. It is just distasteful,” the Russian Foreign Minister said.
In December, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, E. U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Germany’s foreign minister Guido Westerwelle, and U.S. senators Christopher Murphy and John McCain, visited the protest camp in Kiev to register their support.
In an address to the nation on Monday night Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich warned that the violence in Kiev was a “threat to all of Ukraine” and vowed to “use all legal means” to restore law and order.
Keywords: Kiev violence