In an attempt to bring a peaceful resolution to the crisis in the Ukraine over the past few months, Ukraine’s Prime Minister, Mykola Azarov, has offered his resignation and the Government’s Anti-Protest laws have been abolished.
Peaceful protests against President Viktor Yanukovych’s move towards Russia, rather than Europe, turned violent when the President pushed through anti-protest laws, raising prison sentences for those ‘creating disorder’ and forbidding protesters from wearing helmets or gas masks. Along with these laws, the text message received by thousands of people taking part in the protests, “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance” achieved the opposite of calming down the protests, with those involved occupying governmental buildings such as the Ukrainian Justice Ministry this week.
In a move that he hopes will encourage a “social-political compromise” and resolution to the crisis, Ukraine’s prime minister Mykola Azarov, a figure unpopular amongst those protesting, has offered his resignation today, stating:
“The conflict situation which has come about in the country is threatening the economic and social development of Ukraine creating a threat to the whole of Ukrainian society and to each citizen” …
“Today the most important thing is to preserve the unity and integrity of Ukraine. This is far more important than any personal plans or ambitions. That is why I have taken this decision.”
Under Ukraine’s Consititution, if the President accepts his resignation, the entire government resigns.
Parliament has also made the move to repeal the anti-protest laws that set off the violence between protesters and police, hoping that abolishing the law that started the violence will help stop and control the protests. The government has stated however, that protesters currently being held in custody are not to be granted amnesty until all other protesters leaves the streets and buildings they have occupied.
Though these back-to-back moves show a government attempting to tackle the crisis, many of the protesters’ demands have still not been met: one of which being President Yanukovych’s own resignation. It would seem that until higher demands are met, the protests in the Ukraine are far from over.
President Yanukovych has accepted the resignation of the prime minister and his cabinet.