The head of Kiev’s city administration quit the party of President Viktor Yanukovich on Thursday in protest at the bloodshed on the streets of the Ukrainian capital – a sign the head of state may be losing support.
Volodymyr Makiyenko, who was directly appointed by Yanukovich to run the city, said in a statement he had left the president’s Party of the Regions: “Today’s events on the streets of Ukraine are a tragedy for the whole Ukrainian people.
“Human life must be the highest value of our country, and nothing must be allowed to contradict this principle.”
His move followed statements of alarm from some of Ukraine’s richest business “oligarchs”, whose interests the Party of the Regions has been widely seen as protecting.
The worst violence in Ukraine’s 22 years of post-Soviet independence, which has cost over 50 lives since Tuesday, has begun to disrupt life in the city of 2.8 million after three months in which a major protest camp on Independence Square has interfered relatively little with daily business in Kiev.