Sunday, November 28, 2004
Everybody is buzzing right now about martial law. Channel 5 just reported that the government is discussing taking such a step. Obviously this would be a huge escalation. Hold this news loosely, because at this point it's only a report of discussions and nothing more solid than that. But it's more than a little scary. Pray.I'm off to church in a few minutes; that will be prayer number one. I hope he's wrong.
UPDATE: And wouldn't you know it, this is the day the Ukrainians mark the Holodomor, the terror-famine of 1932-33 that left upwards of seven million dead in Ukraine. Yushchenko's remarks here.
UPDATE 2 (noon CT/8 pm Kyiv time): Tulip Girl has more. Yushchenko's got a release confirming it ... as a possibility. Nothing declared yet, but it would be right about now if they do.
MORE: Maidan (Yu.'s news wire service) says "a lot of police are being gathered in 'Dynamo' stadium." The stadium is very close to the Cabinet of Ministers building and less than half a mile from the Orange tent cities.
STILL MORE (13:50 CT, 21:50 Kyiv Time) -- thanks for all the links. Let me be clear about this: I cannot at this time confirm any violence actually happening -- all we are getting are reports of additional police movements complementing speculation of a crackdown issued by the opposition news services. LSPM said at 19:45 KST "I don't think it will happen, but this week has been full of surprises." (He's had two posts since then without mention of anything more.)Maidan is reporting:
Ten buses with special forces units are located so far in the Shovkovychna Street. Many military vehicles full of policemen bearing Donetsk and Crimea license plates tried to go down the Hrushevskyj Street. The people picketing the Cabinet of Ministers have stopped the vehicles and now are blocking them. The policemen inside show vulgar signs to the people.
I wish I had a map to show you what is happening right now (here's one in Ukrainian; don't grab an old one -- the names of the streets all changed post-independence to get rid of the Russian references) but I used to live two blocks SE of Shovkovychna; it's a major street that runs to one end of the Kreschatyk by Bessarabska market, which would be one end of the tent cities. In the other direction it runs to the Parliament and Marinskyj Palace (the ceremonial seat of power). They could also walk NW two blocks to Bankova and the presidential administration building where much of the demonstrating has happened (as opposed to the rallies in Independence Square, which are a few blocks further down the hill.) The Hrushevskyj group would probably the ones at Dynamo stadium earlier. They're a little further away from the action (I'm assuming the buses are in the middle of Shovkovychna closer to the administration buildings than up by the hotels or down by the market. They're less imposing if they're on an end of the street.
(edited since the first post looks like it lost some of what I had put in). There seems to be more happening, but no reports of open conflict yet (2:30 pm CT)
LAST: I'll do another post after dinner tonight. This is about two hours old from Yushchenko's headquarters, but unconfirmed according to Brama:
Reports that Ukrainian forces have been armed and mobilized in the direction of Ukraine's capital. According to one source, anywhere from 12,000 to 20,000 troops advancing along various routes towards Kyiv. Supporters of the opposition have blocked their progress towards Kyiv - at least temporarily. Some units were reported as close as 40 kilometers to the city.
Instapundit mentions Neeka and U2, but what you really have to hear is Gogol Bordello (first mentioned by J.V.C. to me here)! How cool would it be to play that on Bankova!?!