Ukraine Threatens State of Emergency

Protesters mostly back off after storming Justice Ministry
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2014 8:33 AM CST
Ukraine Threatens State of Emergency
Protesters stand guard inside the Justice Ministry in central Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Jan. 27, 2014.   (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Ukraine protesters are largely backing away from the country's justice ministry, after its head threatened to call a state of emergency if they didn't back off. Protesters had barricaded the building—one of many occupied government facilities—using bags of snow; a source tells the BBC that about 30 protesters still remain. "The seizure of the Ministry of Justice is a symbolic act of the people of the uprising. Now, these authorities are stripped of justice," a protester tells the BBC. A state of emergency could involve the use of the army, the BBC notes.

Meanwhile, protests have extended into areas that had been bastions of support for President Viktor Yanukovich, the New York Times reports. The latest demonstrations follow the president's offer to make opposition leaders Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Vitali Klitschko prime minister and deputy PM; they turned down the positions, with the Times noting that they share few beliefs outside of their stance against Yanukovich. Yesterday, thousands gathered in cities like Odessa, Zaporizhzhya, and Dnipropetrovsk; arrests and injuries were reported amid clashes with police. Four protesters were killed last week, and their funerals drew thousands. (More Ukraine stories.)

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