The current situation in the Ukraine, in which the Russian-backed government is using violence against its own people, is deplorable and must end immediately.
The Henry Jackson Society’s Russia Studies Centre urges President Yanukovych to engage in dialogue with the protestors in order to bring the situation to a peaceful resolution, followed by free and fair elections.
The Russia Studies Centre, a research and advocacy unit within The Henry Jackson Society, notes that the West has been largely silent on the situation in Ukraine and calls for all Western states to take action against those in President Yanukovych’s regime involved in perpetrating or sanctioning violence. We must offer our full and unwavering support to the people of Ukraine who wish for a democratic, liberal and prosperous future.
If not, the Russia Studies Centre warns, President Yanukovych could use the violence and ongoing protests as an excuse to further restrict civil liberties and human rights in Ukraine. Should this happen, Ukraine risks becoming a pariah state.
Dr Andrew Foxall, Director of the Russia Studies Centre, called for the West to intervene in Ukraine: “Earlier this month, the EU pledged to ‘respond quickly to any deterioration on the ground’ in Ukraine. Today, people are being killed on the streets because President Viktor Yanukovych is unwilling to engage in dialogue.
“It is time not only for the EU, but also for other Western states, to act. Western states should use their powers to ensure that members of the Ukrainian authorities who are complicit in the violence are issued with visa bans and asset freezes. We must not watch on idly as Kiev burns.”