Ukraine’s Protesters See Hand of Russia in Kiev Crackdown


On Tuesday night, as riot troops began their violent assault on the revolutionary encampment in Kiev, Ukraine’s President was on the phone with Vladimir Putin. By morning, news of the call had leaked to the Ukrainian press, even though neither the Kremlin and nor the office of President Viktor Yanukovych mentioned it in any of their daily press announcements. The reports set off a wave of rumors in the Ukrainian press that Russia was either coordinating the violence that took dozens of lives that night or, at the very least, had failed to stop it. Putin’s spokesman denied them all, but admitted the call took place. “The President of Russia has never given and does not give advice to his Ukrainian colleague about what he needs to do and how he needs to do it,” said the spokesman, Dmitri Peskov.

That wasn’t exactly true. On Jan. 31, Putin’s closest…

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