• Police brief Rada on brawl with MP Parasiuk near Sloviansk (Photo, video)
    #incident_parlement #Ukraine #samopomich

    The law enforcers were authorized to use weapons after the MP had tried to seize firearms from police officers and hit them with his car, he said. He claims one of the law enforcers even “racked the slide” of his weapon, but this did not stop Parasiuk.

    The commander went on to say that the distance between the police and the group of the individuals who accompanied Parasiuk was very little, and if weapons had been used, this would have had serious consequences.

    In his words, as a result of using tear gas, three police officers were hospitalized with serious eye and face burns.

    “Some of the attackers had their arms ready; some were holding police officers being at the barrel of these guns. One of the attackers even tried to seize [firearms from the police], which means there was an attempt to take possession of the arms,” the commander said.

    He noted that the Member of Parliament, being protected by his parliamentary immunity, allows himself to act in a way that offends the police officers.

    What is more, the commander alleged that Parasiuk had beaten him and other police officers and used his car to hit them. He claims that one of the police officers was hospitalized with a leg injury; two others had soft tissue bruises.

    “We are defenseless against this kind of behavior, when they hold an [MP] mandate in one hand and striking with the other,” he said.

    At the same time, the commander noted that all the police officers in his unit were Donbas war veterans and almost all of them were volunteer fighters.

    As UNIAN reported earlier, a mass brawl occurred between the law enforcers and Ukrainian MP Parasiuk and other individuals on March 14 when a convoy of 13 cars carrying supporters of the blockade of trade with occupied Donbas was passing a checkpoint near Slovyansk. The incident happened amid the verification of their identities at the checkpoint. As a result, seven police officers were injured and criminal proceedings were opened under Part 2 of Article 345 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (threat or violence against a law enforcement officer). On the same day, police officers had to fire warning shots into the air near the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk region in order to stop cars carrying the individuals who broke their way through the checkpoint near Sloviansk.

    Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oksana Syroid claims that the presence of the police in the parliament’s session hall can be treated as an attempt to “seize” the parliament’s hall and rostrum. In her opinion, law enforcement officials “have no right to step onto the floor where parliamentary debates are taking place,” because this is contrary to democratic values.

    The Wednesday hearings in parliament were closed ahead of schedule because the parliament’s rostrum had been “occupied by men dressed in camouflage.”

    The police’s report was initiated by the parliamentary factions of the People’s Front, the Petro Poroshenko’s Bloc and Oleh Liashko’s Radical Party.

    The parliament’s regulations allow other than parliamentary rapporteurs to report from the rostrum in the Verkhovna Rada only if this is authorized by at least 150 MPs beforehand.

  • Ex-Professor Upsets Ukraine Politics, and Russia Peace Accord - The New York Times
    #Minsk #SAMOPOMICH #Donbass

    KIEV, Ukraine — WHEN she moved into her office as deputy speaker of Parliament a little over a year ago, Oksana I. #Syroyid hung a large oil painting called “The Edge of the Sky Is Glowing.” It shows a man turning his back on the viewer while flames burn on the horizon.

    “This,” she said, “is every oligarch and every Russian agent who is still in Ukraine.”

    With her own fast burn of ambition, ferocity and style, Ms. Syroyid of the center-right Self-Reliance party, a former law professor, has shot to the top of Ukrainian politics. A political insurgent, she has made a signature issue of derailing a peace agreement with Russia and, in the process, may have eclipsed the former prime minister, Yulia V. Tymoshenko, as the most powerful female politician in Ukraine.

    A 39-year-old native of the Lviv region in the country’s nationalist west, Ms. Syroyid talks boldly about Ukraine acting in its own interests, not those of outside powers. “We need to stop thinking of how to counter Putin, or how to please all our partners,” she said in a recent interview.

    The question many here ask is whether Ms. Syroyid, a relative newcomer, can somehow master the byzantine structure of Ukrainian politics and emerge as the one to lead the country out of the morass of corruption and government dysfunction that threatens its future. Or, is she just another in a line of ambitious upstarts causing Western governments their latest headache in Ukraine and, possibly, taking the country down with her?
    Continue reading the main story

    Continue reading the main story

    One thing is certain: She is not afraid to take a stand.

    To the dismay of Western diplomats, Ms. Syroyid (pronounced “Seer-o-Eed”) has blocked Parliament from passing a constitutional amendment granting virtual autonomy to the separatist regions in eastern Ukraine — a central element of the Minsk II peace accord that ended the hot war in Ukraine a year ago.

    Last month, she pulled the Self-Reliance party out of the ruling coalition, inviting new parliamentary elections despite strong feelings in Brussels and Washington that Ukraine is too unstable to go through another round of voting.

    “We have to be ourselves,” she said in a recent interview. “And only if we are good at that will we have partners and friends.”

    A BOOKISH, bespectacled expert on the Ukrainian Constitution, Ms. Syroyid put away her professorial turtlenecks when she entered politics and now dresses to the nines, saying she is taking a cue from Ms. Tymoshenko, the braided, crusading pioneer of female politicians in this patriarchal country.

    “She definitely is the brightest person in Ukrainian politics, and not only among women,” said Ms. Syroyid, who earned a law degree in Canada. “She is very stylish, and has a very feminine look. At the same time she is known for her tough decisions.”

    None have been tougher than Parliament’s de facto rejection of Minsk II, which takes its name from the capital of Belarus where President Petro O. Poroshenko and Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, signed it, with French and German mediation.