Ukraine’s opposition movement was able to gain a foothold when Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his cabinet resigned last Tuesday, according to The Washington Post. A couple of hours after this shocking move, Ukraine’s parliament invalidated the anti-demonstration laws that had been causing much anger among anti-government demonstrators, reports CNN.
The protests started Thursday, Nov. 21 started immediately after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had abandoned a proposed trade agreement with the European Union, according to The Washington Post.
Ukrainian protestors created a burrowed, barricaded encampment in Kiev, Ukraine that law enforcement officials were unable to crack through. This was until the anti-protest laws were put in place, and the protestors had come to blows with law enforcement officials, resulting in the deaths of at least four demonstrators.
U. S. Vice President Joe Biden called Yanukovych last Monday night to reinforce American support for “a peaceful, political solution to the crisis,” according to White House officials, describes CNN.
Yanukovych defends the decision by stating that the deal came “with thorns,” and he looked for help elsewhere regarding Ukraine’s economy from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who responded with a $15 billion aid package, The Washington Post details.
After Azarov stepped down from his position, Yanukovych offered the position of prime minister to opposition leader of the Fatherland Party, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and deputy prime minister to Vitali Klischko, leader of another opposition. Both opposition leaders refused the positions, stating that they needed further negotiations and that although the removal of the anti-protest laws was a large step forward, they must continue to move toward that direction, according to CNN.
Yatsenyuk countered that he expects parliament to assign a commission Wednesday to rewrite the constitution. President Yanukovych stated that he would be willing to yield a great deal of power to parliament under a new constitution, reports The Washington Post.
Klischko goes on further to say that he will not serve in a new government under the leadership of Yanukovych. Some opponents proposed that Yanukovych would be pleased to stay on as a figurehead if he can keep his job and gain immunity from prosecution.