Confrontation, teargas and political impasse over language bill
Conflict is continuing over the blitzkrieg “adoption” on Tuesday of the highly controversial language bill with Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn having announced his resignation and also promised the opposition that he will not sign the bill. This remains to be seen, however it does appear that without his signature the law cannot be passed to President Yanukovych who is most likely to sign it. The bill was clearly rushed through by the communist deputy speaker on Tuesday, with serious infringements of procedure. The bill was in fact that passed at its first reading two weeks ago, and needed to have changes introduced.
There have been protests throughout the country and in Kyiv there were scuffles with Berkut riot police outside the Ukrainsky Dim building where Yanukovych was supposed to be talking about Euro 2012. Ukrainska Pravda reports that around 400 pensioners, students and school pupils were paid to turn up and “thank the President for the championship”. This address was postponed with Yanukovych instead meeting with Lytvyn and faction leaders.
The riot police appear to have used tear gas against protesters.