Ukrainian and Russian media review

Activists build a barricade in central Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday Jan. 26, 2014. Image copyright AP
Image caption Barricades are going up throughout the country

As the unrest in Ukraine spreads to all parts of the country and Justice Minister Olena Lukash warns that a state of emergency could be imposed, the Ukrainian media ponder whether a point of no return has already been reached.

The opposition paper Vecherniye Vesti is in no doubt that the tensions between the authorities and the protesters have gone beyond the stage at which any compromise is possible.

The paper runs several articles on the clashes under headlines such as "Either the Gestapo, or freedom" and "The war is in full swing".

"Maidan patrols: we have one mother, Ukraine, and we will fight for it until the end," reads another headline in Vecherniye Vesti.

With parliament due to meet for an extraordinary session on Tuesday, the popular Segodnya daily, which often expresses support for the authorities, declares that this will be "the last chance for compromise". It quotes political pundit Kost Bondarenko as saying that there is still a chance of this. "The possibility of finding a compromise is high," Bondarenko is quoted as saying.

The tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda v Ukraine quotes the words of a Donetsk-based pundit, Serhiy Buntovskyy, who also feels that it is not yet time to give up all hope of a compromise.

"The authorities, starting with [President] Yanukovych and including the lowest-rank policemen, are capable of resolving the crisis. I pin my hopes on the talks [between the opposition and the authorities]," Buntovskyy says, according to the paper.

'Lost control'

Media in the eastern region of Donetsk - President Yanukovych's home region and political stronghold - also reflect concern over the spread of the unrest from the capital Kiev to other parts of the country.

The Donetsk-based website Ostrov says of a pro-government rally in Luhansk: "The fact that most people spent almost two hours in freezing cold shows that ordinary citizens are genuinely concerned about what is going on in the country. People have a feeling that the earth's foundations are shaking."

In the north-eastern Kharkov region, the Vecherniy Kharkov daily quotes a business manager identified as Kostyantyn as saying that opposition leaders in Kiev have "lost control of the crowd" and created a "scary" situation. "The genie is out of the bottle, and I think that now Ukraine will not see calm for a long time to come," he said, according to the paper.

Meanwhile, Kharkov regional governor Mikhail Dobkin tweeted: "We didn't yield to fascism in '41, and we won't flinch in '14."

In the Crimea, where the authorities are strongly supportive of President Yanukovych, local media carry similar views.

The paper Sevastopolskiye Izvestiya quotes the head of the Sevastopol city council, Yuriy Doinykov, as saying that Ukraine is under threat from an attempted coup, but that the city will resist this.

"Here in Sevastopol, we have a special attitude. We will never be a whore for fascists!" Doinykov said.

Russian views

The Russian press appears to take it for granted that there will soon be a change of system in Ukraine, and warns that Russia will have to deal with this.

Maksim Yusin, writing in the influential business daily Kommersant, says that President Yanukovych has "started talks on capitulation" and that all that remains to be seen is whether this will be "unconditional, honorary, immediate or deferred".

Tatyana Ivzhenko, writing in the centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta, says that "a new format of power is going to appear" and that this "may not suit Russia".

Analyst Andrey Yermolayev, writing in the business daily Vedomosti, sees "a real threat of a civil uprising".

Meanwhile, Yulia Kalinina, in the popular daily Moskovsky Komsomolets, says that most of the blame for allowing the situation to reach this point should be attached to the Ukrainian authorities, who she says are "striking in their weakness, indecisiveness and almost conscious irresponsibility".

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