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Stakes raised in embattled Ukraine

Monday, January 27, 2014 - 02:00

Jan. 27 - Violent clashes in Ukraine have left the fate of of the embattled President Viktor Yanukovich in doubt. He's now threatened to declare a state of emergency. Joel Flynn asks if that could make Russia think twice about lending Ukraine vital cash.

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It resembles a war zone and to some extent it is. Protestors in Ukraine are fighting for a new government. Violent demonstrations over the weekend left widespread destruction across Kiev and beyond. The pro-EU demonstrators determined to bring about the fall of the pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich. SOUNDBITE: Kiev Resident, Volodymir, saying (Russian): "It's great that people have come out to express themselves. Whatever has happened here has clearly resonated with people and demanded their attention." Six people have now died since the protests first erupted in November. At the weekend Ukraine's leaders offered to give the opposition roles in government, including the post of Prime Minister. That was quickly rejected by the protestors who want Yanukovich to go. There are also questions about what could happen to Russia's $15 billion bailout if Ukraine offered too many concessions. CMC Markets' Michael Hewson. SOUNDBITE: CMC Markets Analyst, Michael Hewson, saying (English): "You could certainly make that argument, yes, but I think the counter argument is that if Russia does step back from putting extra cash in it'll just drive the Ukraine back into the arms of the EU, and I don't think Putin would want that either." The government has now threatened to declare a state of emergency. And a special session of Ukraine's parliament has been called. That could spell yet more uncertainty, says Mike Ingram from BGC Partners. SOUNDBITE: BGC Market Commentator, Mike Ingram, saying (English): "In terms of market weights, Ukraine is an absolute minnow. But of course geopolitically it's in a sensitive part of the world: They've got a lot of nuclear facilities - who can forget Chernobyl - and they're hosting the Russian Black Seas fleet." And Kiev is no longer the only trouble spot - protestors have now occupied local authority buildings in up to 10 western regions. Now there are even signs of unrest in traditional pro-Yanukovich areas in the country's east and south.

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Stakes raised in embattled Ukraine

Monday, January 27, 2014 - 02:00