The United States strongly condemns the increasing violence on the streets of Kyiv, which has led to casualties and the shooting deaths of two protesters. We urge all sides to immediately de-escalate the situation and refrain from violence. Increased tensions in Ukraine are a direct consequence of the Ukrainian government’s failure to engage in real dialogue and the passage of anti-democratic legislation on January 16. However, the aggressive actions of members of extreme-right group Pravy Sektor are not acceptable and are inflaming conditions on the streets and undermining the efforts of peaceful protestors. We likewise deplore violence by unofficial groups known as “titushki.”
We also condemn the targeted attacks against journalists and peaceful protestors, including detentions. The Maidan movement has been defined by a spirit of non-violence that we strongly support.
We urge the Government of Ukraine to take steps that represent a better way forward for Ukraine, including repeal of the anti-democratic legislation and beginning a national dialogue with the political opposition. The United States has already revoked visas of several people responsible for violence, and will continue to consider additional steps in response to the use of violence by any actors.