Ukraine law minister warns state of emergency

Ukraine activists fill up sacks with snow to build a barricade in front of the ministry of justice building.
Ukraine activists fill up sacks with snow to build a barricade in front of the ministry of justice building.

BBC Online :
Ukraine’s justice minister has warned anti-government protesters occupying her ministry she will call for a state of emergency if they do not leave.
Olena Lukash told local media she would ask the National Security and Defence Council to introduce the measures.
Protesters seized the building in Kiev late on Sunday and set up barricades outside with bags of snow.
Unrest is spreading across Ukraine, with activists taking over municipal buildings in up to 10 cities.
Buildings have come under attack even in eastern areas which have traditionally had closer ties with Russia and where President Viktor Yanukovych has enjoyed strong support.
Protesters say there weren’t any guards at the justice ministry, they simply smashed their way through the window – now barricaded by furniture – and went in.
They are busy making another barricade out of compressed snow shovelled into bags, and hosing the nearby pavement on the inclined street with water. There is no sight of police of any kind.
The one policeman I found was about to lock the entrance to a nearby Metro station. He sighed, rolled his eyes, and said: “Nothing surprises us anymore.”
When I asked what the activists intended to do with the ministry and how they were going to run it, a masked man said: “We don’t need this justice for sale anymore.”
The crisis was sparked by the president’s decision not to sign an EU deal, and has escalated with the deaths of four activists in recent days.
Correspondents say protesters entered the justice ministry building in the capital without resistance.
“The seizure of the Ministry of Justice is a symbolic act of the people of the uprising. Now, these authorities are stripped of justice,” one protester told reporters.
One of the organisers of the occupation, who gave his name as Oleg, said the building was being used to shelter those enduring freezing conditions in street protests nearby.
He told the Associated Press news agency: “We are not going to do any hooliganism, or have anyone hurt. We are peaceful people, we are for justice.”
But Ms Lukash told Inter TV channel: “If the protesters do not leave the justice ministry building… I will ask the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine to impose the state of emergency.”
She said water had been sprayed inside the building, “turning it into a veritable ice rink”.