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U.S. Condemns Violence In Ukraine


Protesters run away from a stun grenade as they clash with police in central Kyiv, Jan. 22, 2014.

The United States urges all sides to immediately de-escalate the situation and refrain from violence.

The United States strongly condemns the increasing violence on the streets of Kiev, Ukraine's capital, which has led to casualties and the first fatalities – including the shooting deaths of protesters - since massive opposition protests began two months ago in response to President Viktor Yanukovich's sudden decision not to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union. The United States urges all sides to immediately de-escalate the situation and refrain from violence.


Increased tensions are a direct consequence of the Ukrainian government's failure to engage in a real dialogue with the opposition as well as the passage of anti-democratic legislation criminalizing peaceful protest and stripping civil society and political opponents of key democratic protections under the law.

Increased tensions are a direct consequence of the Ukrainian government's failure to engage in a real dialogue with the opposition.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Marie Harf noted that the aggressive actions taken by members of the extreme-right group Pravy Sektor, who are "inflaming conditions on the streets and undermining the efforts of peaceful protestors” are also unacceptable. She added that the United States also deplores violence by unofficial groups known as "titushki."

The United States also condemns targeted attacks against journalists and peaceful protestors, including detentions. The Maidan movement, named after Independence Square in Kiev, is defined by a spirit of non-violence that the U.S. strongly supports.

Aggressive actions taken by members of the extreme-right group Pravy Sektor, who are "inflaming conditions on the streets and undermining the efforts of peaceful protestors” are also unacceptable.
White House National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden called on the government of Ukraine to take steps that represent a better way forward for Ukraine, including repealing the anti-democratic legislation signed into law recently, withdrawal of riot police from downtown Kiev, and a meaningful dialogue with the opposition. The United States has already revoked the visas of individuals linked to the violence, and will continue to consider additional steps, including sanctions, in response to the use of violence.
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