A full scale armed insurrection seems to be taking place in the center of Kiev. RT reports 7 dead policemen, 11 dead civilians. 135 cops have been hospitalized, 35 are in critical condition. A total of 221 people have sought medical attention, 114 of them were hospitalized. The offices of the Regions Party of Yanukovich have been torched. The opposition leaders are demanding a constitutional change and Yanukovich's departure. Communist deputies have been assaulted and beaten up in the Parliament when they attempted to leave the building.
The Imperial High Command has declared that it was "appalled" by the violence, saying "force will not resolve the crisis". "To restore peace and stability, we urge President Yanukovych to
de-escalate immediately the situation and end the confrontation". "We also urge him to restart a
dialogue with opposition leaders today."
Personally, I do not see either side backing down. And, mind you, by "side" I mean, on one hand, the pro-Western Zapadentsy and their neo-Nazi allies and, on the other hand, the south and eastern regions of the Ukraine. The way I see it, Yanukovich is not even really a "party" to this conflict, only a completely irresponsible and, frankly, stupid politician who bears a huge responsibility for the current situation (he very much reminds me of Kerensky).
Could a civil war still be avoided? Probably yes, but only by a regime willing to do what *any* normal regime would do: fully restore law and order. Everywhere and unconditionally. That means introducing martial law in the entire country, shooting all armed insurgents on sight, jailing all rioters and those who openly back them: Klitschko, Yatsenyuk, Tyagnibok and all their aides. This means to do what Stolypin did in 1906. Alas, there is no "Ukrainian Stolypin". All I see is a lame, pathetic and clueless idiot on one side and a gang of ruthless terrorists on the other. Exactly what took place in 1917. We all know how this one ended...
Just as I wrote in November of last year, the gates of Hell are now opening for the Ukraine. Looking at the latest footage out of Kiev (see below), I am only comforted in my conclusion that Russia should absolutely stay out of this conflict unless the Ukrainian nationalists attempt to take control of the Crimean Peninsula by force. But short of this very extreme development, I think that Russia should resist any pressure to get involved. The Ukies wanted their independence? Let them have it!
Here is some footage of the battles fought tonight in Kiev (thanks E.P.!):