World

Ukraine crisis: 'We are putting our hopes in a new generation of politicians'

  • 23 February 2014
  • From the section World
Media captionUnverified CCTV appears to show Viktor Yanukovych fleeing his Kiev residence

Parliament in Ukraine has named its speaker Oleksandr Turchynov as interim president following a vote to dismiss President Viktor Yanukovych on Saturday.

The whereabouts of the ousted president remain unclear, though police have sworn allegiance to the opposition.

BBC News website readers in Ukraine have been giving their reaction to the developments.

'I don't see why we need the office of the president at all'

Mykhailo Rybintsev is a teacher from Dnepropetrovsk who took part in local protests in the south central part of Ukraine.

Image copyright Mykhailo Rybintsev
Image caption "I will not vote for Yulia again" says 21-year-old Mykhailo Rybintsev

"We are all glad that Yanukovych has been dismissed and that we have finally got rid of him.

We don't know where he has run away to but we would like to see him in the Hague to answer why he killed his own citizens.

It is sad that we had to pay such a high price, with human lives, to get him out of office.

In the longer term I don't see why we need the office of the president at all. We could manage as a parliamentary republic. I am not worried that it would concentrate power in the hands of the prime minister because he is the representative of 450 other members of parliament, who in turn are representative of the people.

In the short term we need to hold fresh elections quickly so that we can start dealing with some of the serious problems we have with the economy, with separatism, and with stabilising the country.

Of the current presidential candidates, I would vote for Vitali Klitschko because he is pro-European and I see the role of the president as an ambassador for the country. He speaks English and German which would be useful and he is not tainted by the Yanukovych regime."

'Can you carry petrol bombs through London without being arrested?'

Peter, 58, runs a mining and engineering firm in Kiev.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The riots were unjustified, says Peter

"Is it possible to camp outside Number 10 Downing Street or walk through the streets of London with petrol bombs wearing a ski mask? This is what we have had in Kiev.

Yanukovych was democratically elected and the elections were verified by the European Union and the USA as being valid. Yanukovych was not a dictator, however the USA and the Western press portray him, therefore the riots were not justified.

Is this the end of the unrest? I doubt it. Now the protesters have tasted success with rioting, I doubt if they will revert, in the long term, to a normal democratic process.

With the promise of instability, a possibly partitioned country and rising tensions between Russia and the USA, there will be and can be no business confidence. International businesses that pay taxes and create wealth will be severely restricted as security cannot be guaranteed."

'I worry now Sochi is over, Russia will turn its attention to Ukraine'

Yuri Pelenski is a 61-year-old, British-born Ukrainian businessman from Lviv.

Image copyright Yuri Pelenski
Image caption Yuri Pelenski says he hopes Ukraine can withstand pressure from Russia

"This is what we have been fighting for. Now we need to make sure that an interim government is appointed quickly so that we can get on with stabilising the country.

The next few days and months are critical. People in Ukraine have experienced the Orange Revolution and are very sceptical. We do not want to swap the colours of the flags and end up with the same oligarchs in charge. That is why the protesters are still in the Maidan to oversee the establishment of an interim government and to make sure that happens.

We will find new leaders, free from corruption, who have emerged from these protests in the Maidan. When Tymoshenko took to the stage on the night she was freed, there was not overwhelming support for her, even though people are glad she has been freed.

We will have a professional interim government to take us through to the presidential and mayoral elections on 26 May. We need to have a government in place quickly because now that Sochi is over, Russia will turn its attention to Ukraine. We need to have representatives in charge so the West knows who to speak to and how to support us.

We are putting our hopes in a new, younger generation of politicians."

'I am not sure anything will really change'

Image copyright Lyudmila Matiyko
Image caption "I am pessimistic about the future", says Lyudmila Matiyko

Lyudmila Matiyko is a scientist from Kiev.

"This should have happened months ago. Yanukovych is a coward. He has divided people. Not everyone agreed it should be through protests and violence, but everyone was united about the fact that he had to go.

He was twice sentenced to prison. The mayor was also sent to prison for something else. The people ruling our country were criminals. Can you imagine that happening in your country? It happens here because Ukraine is a very wealthy country and they are gangsters. I am suspicious of anyone in Ukraine who is incredibly rich.

I voted for Yulia Tymoshenko before, in 2004. She had the opportunity to make the right choices but she didn't free us from corruption. I am pessimistic about the future, I am not sure anything will really change, even after all this bloodshed."

Interviews by Sitala Peek

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