Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

MPs decry Ukrainian violence, call for restraint as riot police deploy live ammo

OTTAWA - Canadians of Ukrainian origin gathered Wednesday on Parliament Hill to denounce the violence in their homeland's capital city, all the while agonizing about the fate of loved ones caught up in the deadly violence.

Many expressed the fear that proposed sanctions being considered by Canada, the U.S. and the European Union may come too late to save their former country from economic and political disaster.

As they gathered in the shadow of Ottawa's Peace Tower, dozens of people sang and chanted in solidarity with those in Kyiv, where violence has scarred Independence Square and taken the lives of at least 25 people.

Canada's embassy in the Ukrainian capital, meanwhile, remained closed for a second straight day.

Federal MPs James Bezan and Ted Opitz said in a statement they are "disgusted" by the callous behaviour demonstrated by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his regime.

During a bilateral meeting in Mexico, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama were in agreement on several fronts in regards to the Ukrainian crisis, calling it a "welcome step" if a truce was called between the Ukrainian government and opposition leaders.

"We hold the government responsible and urge them to take all the steps necessary to resolve the situation," Harper told a news conference following the meeting.

Harper and Obama also urged the Ukrainian military to show restraint and refrain from becoming involved in issues that should be resolved by civilians, the statement said.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Canada is considering a range of diplomatic options to send a message to the Yanukovych government, including targeted sanctions.

The Harper government will consult other nations as it considers possible next steps, he said. "I will . . . be consulting our allies and like-minded nations to build a co-ordinated path forward in the coming days."

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, whose province is home to a large Ukrainian-Canadian population, also issued condolences to the families of those killed and injured.

Ottawa resident Olya Korzachenko, who was on hand for Wednesday's protest, said she's been unable to reach relatives in Ukraine for the past two days. It may already be too late for sanctions to have any impact, she warned.

"Enough talk," Korzachenko said as she stood near the centennial flame at the heart of the parliamentary precinct.

"The authorities are moving their own personal millions and billions into banks around the world, and while we talk, all of this is going on — Ukraine is being raped and nobody in the West, nobody in Europe is doing anything."

The escalating anger over the protests, and the government's crackdown, has fuelled fears that Ukraine could be sliding toward civil war.

But protesters in Ottawa largely dismissed that notion, blaming Russia for the violence. Ukrainians would not fight Ukrainians, they vowed. Indeed, there have already been reports of security forces in Kyiv surrendering to protest groups.

Sanctions against Ukraine could include a travel ban on prominent officials and a freezing of assets belonging to the powerful oligarchs who back Yanukovych.

Canada will also provide medical supplies to Ukrainian activists through a contribution to a Ukrainian non-governmental organization.

As the protests continued in Kyiv, Yanukovych said he had replaced the chief of the country's armed forces.

The presidential decree came as Ukraine's acting defence minister said the army was considering a nationwide anti-terrorist operation to restore order.

Yanukovych's government has frequently referred to the protesters demanding his resignation as "terrorists."


Updated on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 11:53 PM CST:
Adds video.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.


Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Submit a Random Act of Kindness
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media