Ukrainian Protest Leader Challenges President to Debate

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Ukraine is seeing continued protests and unrest following January 16 anti-democratic legislation from the Ukrainian parliament, as well as the government passing on a European trade deal in favor of relations with Russia, which ultimately has withdrawn its formerly agreed upon loan, placing Ukraine in a difficult economic position likely to end in default on at least some of its debt.

Now, the Ukrainian SBU, the secret service branch of its government, has released a statement alerting the public of an increase in terrorist threats on infrastructure including atomic power stations, gas and oil pipelines, and airports, according to Reuters, though it is unclear whether the attack threats are increasing in relation to the continued protests or if a separate concern is cropping up.

“The SBU’s anti-terrorist center, in accordance with the law, is obliged to put on readiness anti-terrorist units on the territory of the state,” read the release, per Reuters, noting that the alert is precautionary and that certain services, such as bus stations and other big transport centers in cities, are higher risk.

Reuters reports that this alert comes with additional precautions that include higher protection for state buildings, making it difficult to come close, and taking up areas of weapon storage — possibly an aim at preventing further efforts of protestors to take over government buildings. “The action carried out by the security services … is aimed solely at ensuring public safety and stopping criminal activities with a terrorist goal. These measures are transparent and primarily preventative in nature,” read the statement, according to the news service.

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