How they see it

Opposition protests in Ukraine

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 February, 2014, 3:06am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 February, 2014, 3:06am

1. Toronto Star

It took firebombs in the streets of Kiev, blood on the pavement of Independence Square and revolutionary cries of "Freedom or death!" to shake Ukraine's obdurate President Viktor Yanukovych awake to the clamour of his people for political reform, but the message appears finally to have sunk in … He will offer jailed activists an amnesty. And he promises to soften the draconian anti-protest laws … Yet Ukraine's reformers have been gunned down, beaten, abducted … And ominously, Yanukovych continues to threaten to use "all legal means" to suppress the protests if a solution isn't found. The opposition legitimately fears a bloodier crackdown may be in the offing. Toronto


2. The Washington Post

Western governments cannot control events in Ukraine, whatever [Russian President Vladimir] Putin may think. But they could be doing much more than they are to prevent a nation that was headed toward integration with the democratic West from becoming an autocratic Kremlin colony, like neighbouring Belarus. Demoralised European Union leaders seem to have abandoned Ukraine at just the moment they should be acting to stop [President Viktor] Yanukovych's repression … But Washington also ought to recognise Mr Putin's role in attempting to impose his autocratic model on a country that has been struggling to become a genuine democracy - and hold him accountable for it. Washington


3. The Independent

It is too soon for undue optimism, but the signs of progress in Ukraine are welcome nonetheless. As protests against his preference for Russia over Europe escalated, President Viktor Yanukovych faced two alternatives: clamp down or compromise. Last week, he appeared to be choosing the former. Now there seems at least a chance that sense - and order - may prevail … Of course he must compromise with the opposition and forge a political solution to the crisis. Ultimately, however, he must also call an election … If we are to help resolve the crisis, we must not inflame it further by trying to make Kiev choose. We can, however, try to persuade Mr Yanukovych to go one step further and call an election. London