Ukraine Erupts In Violence

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych targeted his opposition rhetorically and militarily as the death toll reached 25 and the city of Kiev was engulfed in flames.

The European Union has called an emergency meeting for Thursday, while European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso declared in a statement that said they was set to impose sanctions against those blamed for the bloodshed.

“We have … made it clear that the EU will respond to any deterioration on the ground. We therefore expect that targeted measures against those responsible for violence and use of excessive force can be agreed by our member states as a matter of urgency,” he said.

According to Sabra Ayres of the Christian Science Monitor, it may be the business elites who have the capacity to resolve the crisis.

“But behind the scenes is a handful of the country’s wealthiest businessmen, who control an enormous amount of Ukraine’s economic output through their holdings in metallurgy, chemical production, and mining, and other industries. This clan of oligarchs, with their economic interests and close ties to embattled President Viktor Yanukovych, could be critical to ending the political turmoil,” Ayres contends and also notes that “many of the oligarchs have remained loyal to President Yanukovych and the ruling Party of Regions.”

Max Boot argued in Commentary that both the US and the EU were responsible for the deteriorating environment on the ground.

“But it is not just the EU that is failing to show leadership. So too with the U.S., with a president distracted by numerous crises at home and abroad, ranging from the birthing pangs of his health-care plan to the latest slaughter in Syria. Amid all these other problems, it is hard for Ukraine to get the attention it deserves,” he wrote, adding that “the U.S. and its European allies have a major stake in making sure that Ukraine does not once again revert to de facto Russian control, but to avert that fate will require more political leadership starting in Washington.”




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