Clashes between riot police and demonstrators continued all night. Meanwhile, death toll has risen to 25, which include 10 police officers reporting various sources. A total of 351 people were also injured during clashes.
"...the blame is on extremists, who tried all these weeks and all these months to bring the situation to such forceful scenario but considerable share of responsibility is also on opposition activists, who refused compromise, gave the authorities demands outside the legal frame and in the end turned out to be incapable to fulfill what has been agreed," Lavrov said at a news conference following a meeting with his Kuwaiti counterpart. - Voice of Russia
A prominent Russian lawmaker and the chief of the foreign affairs committee in the Russian parliament has pointed out inconsistency between NATO’s reaction to the recent crackdown on Ukrainian protesters in Kiev and similar police violence in the US.
"The NATO has condemned the use of 'excessive force' against Kiev demonstrators. But it was probably OK to beat anti-NATO protesters in Chicago," Duma MP Alexei Pushkov tweeted overnight.
The tweet comes after Russia’s foreign policy chief Sergei Lavrov said he was amazed by the fact that the military alliance believed itself to be in a position to issue statements on Ukraine’s domestic affairs. - Voice of Russia
Militants' actions in Kiev on Fe 18-19 not spontaneous, but staged - Russian diplomat
Chairman of the Federation Council's International Affairs Committee Mikhail Margelov believes that militants' actions on Kiev streets on February 18-19 are not spontaneous, but staged.
The senator noted the common delusion that the so-called Maidan and its battle squad is not stage-managed, it is Cossak outlaws and "national power". "The very events at Grushevsky Street disproved it: the militants dealt with law enforcers’ attacks too skillfully, refilled armory of shields, casks and clubs, and added cocktail bombs to convert it into napalm. The course of street riots February 18-19 showed that the militants fight in the so-called "Halych format" — it came to gunfire, and there are fatalities on both sides. There is evident organized nature behind the fighting," Margelov believes.
In addition, he said that "after a fragile truce, the Maidan gains momentum in provinces: in Lvov, Ternopol, Ivano-Frankovsk". "They not only occupy state offices there, but storm police wards and dismantle Berkut officers," the Russian senator stated.
Margelov expressed confidence that "debacles and shooting that John Kerry dubbed "fight of the Ukrainian majority for Europe’s democratic future" are fairly staged and managed by experienced specialists in street fighting". "Klitschko and Yatsenyuk hardly possess such military talents," he assumed, adding that the job of these politicians is "to compose joint plans with the West to make up an oppositionist government and carry out a constitutional reform, which ought to be followed by western financial aid".
Chairman of the Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee says it’s early to make any forecasts yet. "It would be a great achievement to stop the street mayhem and start a responsible political dialogue. Still, even this may not consolidate the Ukrainian society. It’s split: I cannot remember a single Ukrainian parliament that hadn’t fistfights," the senator concluded. - Voice of Russia