Ukrainian Prime Minister: Claims Coup D’Etat Behind Protests

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Three deaths took place on Wednesday as Ukrainian protesters continued the outcry against the passage of new legislative limitations on democratic rights, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right to protest. The government backlash against protestors has been heavily criticized by the international community, including condemning statements released by the European Union and United States, with the EU insisting that Ukraine conform to the democratic norms of its fellows.

Now, the prime minister of Ukraine, Mykola Azarov, said that the country is dealing with a coup d’état attempt, according to a press release from the Department of Information and Communications in the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. “There is a coup d’etat attempt in Ukraine. And all who support this coup must explicitly say: yes, we are for overthrow[ing] the legitimate authority in Ukraine and not to hide behind the peaceful protesters,” said the prime minister.

Azarov told journalists in Davos, Switzerland — where he met with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe — that those demanding early presidential elections to be held are making lofty demands. “To hold elections [would be] totally unrealistic,” he said, pointing out that regular elections will take place in less than a year. “Do you think it is possible under such conditions to hold the elections when the center of Kyiv practically occupied by guerrilla … First of all it is necessary to normalize the situation in the country,” he said, per a release from the DIC of Ukraine’s secretariat.

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