This has long been Levko's domain but I thought i might butt in and maybe add some things from time to time about the situation here.
The people on Maidan are declaring victory over the forces sent last night to clear the square. From what we can piece together there were clashes last night when police tried to pull down the barricades. Tear gas was used. But the word got out and people started coming to the square. This is at 4 a.m. They came by car and walked. Someof them were chanting someething like "Stand firm!" when they got there.
Whoever it was, the police or Berkut or the military (someone else might know who better) pulled back and that has allowed the people down there to declare victory.
Word has gone out now for a million people to come today. (I wouldn't be surprised if they get that many.) And they have asked for carpenters and woodworkers to come down and help replace or repair the barricades.
All this was done after the EU rep was here. Kind of like spitting in the face, no?
It is one thing to be corrupt but aother thing entirely to be corrupt and stupid. And those in power from the top to the bottom have shown themslves to be incredibly stupid in this. From the idiotic reason for calling in Berkut last Saturday ("we must protect the Christmas tree!") to the stupid comments all around coming from Azarov and company (Azarov: "There will be no payment for government workers because I have been too busy with the events down on Maidan." And Azarov has said that the west of Ukraine is agitating this thing so they won't be sending any money west. The west responded that they would just use the money they would normally send to Kiev thank you. Not bright.)
The protests on the square were never a threat. The opposition down there had no plan to unite anyone behind except to occupy the square. Pulling down the Lenin statue didn't mean anything (if that is it was by the protestors which there is some doubt about). None of this was a threat to anyone's power. None of this threatened Ukraine's financial standing. But the paranoids reacted and solidified the opposition and made people more mad and Ukraine's financial standing is threatened at a time when the government needs all the help they can get. (And goodwill.)
Yanukovich isn't Putin. He doesn't have the control of things that Putin has. But I don't think that has dawned on him. His will has become law only within a narrow segment of the elite but that is the echo chamber he has lived in.
Now he's hearing from the rest.