Update 2:35 p.m. Eastern — Julia Tymoshenko addresses crowd in Kiev:
The President of Ukraine has fled Kiev but it is unclear if he has resigned. (UPDATE: Refuses to resign, calls protests a facsist coup d’etat.)
BREAKING: Ukraine's president says he won't resign and likens country's political crisis to Nazis' rise.
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 22, 2014
BREAKING: Ukraine’s Parliament has voted unanimously Saturday to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from office.
— CNN (@CNN) February 22, 2014
— RT (@RT_com) February 22, 2014
Kiev is in the hands of the opposition, and government security forces have vowed to stay neutral, reports Reuters:
Ukraine security chiefs signal allegiance to protesters
The heads of four Ukrainian security bodies, including the police’s Berkut anti-riot units, appeared in parliament on Saturday and declared they would not take part in any conflict with the people.
They represented the paratroop unit of the military, the Berkut anti-riot police, Alfa special operations unit and military intelligence. The Interior Ministry had already signalled its allegiance to anti-government protests under a new minister from the ranks of the opposition.
Jailed Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko is set for release as part of political decisions taken at an emergency session of parliament in Kiev.
Initial reports claimed she had already been freed, but these were later clarified by aide Natasha Lysova who said the parliamentary decision meant she must be freed immediately.
AFP news agency, quoting opposition MP Mykola Katerynchuk, reported President Viktor Yanukovich had promised to resign over the conflict.
Ukraine’s chief rabbi tells Kiev’s Jews to flee city
Ukraine’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman, called on Kiev’s Jews to leave the city and even the country if possible, fearing that the city’s Jews will be victimized in the chaos, Israeli daily Maariv reported Friday.
“I told my congregation to leave the city center or the city all together and if possible the country too,” Rabbi Azman told Maariv. “I don’t want to tempt fate,” he added, “but there are constant warnings concerning intentions to attack Jewish institutions.”
According to the paper’s report Azman closed the Jewish community’s schools but still holds three daily prayers. He said the Israeli embassy told members of the Jewish community to avoid leaving their homes.
Edward Dolinsky, head of the umbrella organization of Ukraine’s Jews described the situation in Kiev as dire, telling Maariv “We contacted Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman requesting he assist us with securing the community.”
— RT (@RT_com) February 22, 2014
This site offers multiple live streaming video feeds. [May be hard to connect.]
— Legal Insurrection (@LegInsurrection) February 22, 2014
YANUKOVICH SAYS HE IS NOT RESIGNING pic.twitter.com/f2m2fs6eIj
— Olaf Koens (@obk) February 22, 2014
Moscow has been prepping its secessionist activities in Kharkiv for some time, as I reported 3 weeks ago: http://t.co/SCyLDNeWpr
— John Schindler (@20committee) February 22, 2014
This one map helps explain #Ukraine’s protests
— ملک (@Malik_73) February 22, 2014
— DCF_Modeller (@Orangeman1992) February 22, 2014
— Andrew Roth (@ARothNYT) February 22, 2014
— The View East (@thevieweast) February 22, 2014
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