The number of victims in Kiev clashes has reached 25. One of the victims is a journalist working for Russian-language newspaper Vesti. According to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, 19 of the dead people were civilians. The Ministry of Internal Affair has announced that they killed radical activists and the police did not use service weapon.
In a statement broadcast on TV news channels on Wednesday morning, President Yanukovych said: “The opposition leaders have disregarded the principle of democracy according to which one obtains power not on the streets or maidans – but through elections.
“They have crossed the line by calling for people to take up arms.” He warned that those responsible for violence would face the law.
The president added that there was a “better and more effective way” to solve the crisis, through dialogue, compromise and new elections.
After the first reports about the victims were received, Yanukovych made a public statement and urged opposition to leave Maidan otherwise he threatened to ‘talk in a different language.’
Yanukovych has already announced that the crackdown on the protesters could have been averted if the opposition had not urged protesters to take up arms. He offered the opposition leader Vitali Klitschko to call on people to lay down arms.
“What weapons are you talking about?” Klitschko told reporters on Tuesday evening after his talks with President Yanukovych.
Freedom House has strongly condemned the escalating, deadly violence in Kiev and recognized Yanukovych an illegitimate president who ordered to open fire on his own people. The UN, the European Parliament, the European Union and NATO have urged Ukrainian authorities to stop the violence.
U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt has blamed the deadly clashes on Viktor Yanukovych.