Allowing Opposition Dissent

Ukraine’s Leader to Revoke Curbs on Dissent, but Opposition Remains Wary


A demonstrator took a rest from the protests on Monday in Kiev, Ukraine. Protesters withdrew from the Justice Ministry building they had seized on Sunday. Sergey Dolzhenko/European Pressphoto Agency

KIEV, Ukraine — Still struggling to contain a national civil uprising, President Viktor F. Yanukovych of Ukraine agreed late Monday to revoke a package of new laws severely restricting political dissent, but a wider accord to defuse the crisis remained out of reach, officials said.

While nominally a concession to the opposition, a repeal of the laws would simply reverse a provocative legislative maneuver on Jan. 16 that only further infuriated antigovernment protesters who at that point had been on the streets for nearly two months over other grievances.

The situation in Ukraine, a country of 46 million perched strategically between Russia and the European Union, has deteriorated sharply after clashes between the police and demonstrators in Kiev turned violent last week and mass protests began spreading in regional capitals.

Mr. Yanukovych, who set off the crisis in November by breaking a promise to sign political and free-trade agreements with the European Union , began offering concessions on Saturday in a sign that the authorities were losing control and that the police were outnumbered.

As protests continued across Kiev on Monday, demonstrators took part in a training exercise in Independence Square. Rob Stothard/Getty Images

He offered to install opposition leaders as prime minister and vice prime minister — a proposal that they swiftly rebuffed in part because there was little support for it on the street, but also because it would have solidified Mr. Yanukovych’s own grip on power.

One of those opposition leaders, Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk, the leader in Parliament of the Fatherland Party, officially informed the president on Monday night that he would not accept the post of prime minister.

In a statement released earlier in the day, Yulia V. Tymoshenko, a Fatherland leader and former prime minister who was jailed by Mr. Yanukovych, urged that the deal be rejected. “The people want fundamental changes in their lives, justice in Ukraine and a path to European values,” she said. “This is their last chance. Politicians still don’t understand that the people are ready to achieve their goal at the cost of their lives, health and physical freedom.”

In addition to repealing the new restrictions on dissent, officials said that a special session of Parliament on Tuesday would also begin to address a rollback of constitutional changes broadly expanding the powers of the presidency that had been made at Mr. Yanukovych’s direction earlier in his term.

Yet, in a sign of how Mr. Yanukovych has reshaped the political system to his advantage, a return to the Constitution as it existed in 2004, absent other changes, would largely serve to empower a Parliament now solidly controlled by his Party of Regions.

Despite a thuggish reputation, Mr. Yanukovych has repeatedly proved himself to be a wily negotiator. After backing away from the deal with Europe, which would have required him to free Ms. Tymoshenko, as well as to undertake painful austerity measures demanded by the International Monetary Fund, Mr. Yanukovych secured a desperately needed $15 billion financial rescue package from President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

At the same time, he avoided having to declare that Ukraine would join Russia’s customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan, which the Kremlin has clearly wanted as part of a deal.

A protester at the barricade in Kiev, Ukraine, on Monday. Darko Vojinovic/Associated Press

Still, Mr. Yanukovych’s allies have grown increasingly uneasy as the country has descended into chaos, and international leaders have raised a growing outcry over evidence of abductions, beatings and other abuse of protesters by the authorities or their surrogates. On Monday, the Party of Regions issued a statement accusing protest leaders of attempting a coup, and of encouraging the occupation of government buildings.

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Key Terms…

  • demonstrator ↔ protestante
  • withdrew ↔ se retiraram
  • had seized ↔ tinham tomado
  • struggling ↔ lutando
  • uprising ↔ revolta
  • revoke a package ↔ revogar um pacote
  • political dissent ↔ dissidência política
  • defuse ↔ aliviar
  • out of reach ↔ fora do alcance
  • repeal ↔ revogação
  • reverse a provocative legislative maneuver ↔ reverter uma provocante manobra legislativa
  • further infuriated ↔ enfureceu ainda mais
  • over other grievances ↔ sobre outras queixas
  • perched ↔ empoleirado
  • sharply ↔ bruscamente
  • clashes ↔ confrontos
  • began spreading ↔ começaram a se espalhar
  • set off the crisis ↔ desencadeou a crise
  • outnumbered ↔ em desvantagem
  • swiftly rebuffed ↔ repeliram rapidamente
  • it would have solidified ↔ teria solidificado
  • grip on power ↔ permanência no poder
  • jailed ↔ presa
  • urged ↔ incitou
  • path ↔ caminho
  • achieve their goal ↔ alcançar seu objetivo
  • In addition to repealing the new restrictions on dissent ↔ Além de revogar as novas restrições à dissidência
  • address a rollback ↔ abordar uma reversão
  • broadly ↔ amplamente
  • in his term ↔ em seu mandato
  • Yet, in a sign of how ↔ No entanto, em um sinal de quão
  • reshaped ↔ reformulado
  • absent ↔ sem
  • empower ↔ habilitar
  • thuggish ↔ agressiva
  • wily ↔ astuto
  • which would have required him ↔ que teria exigido dele
  • undertake ↔ empreender
  • austerity measures ↔ medidas de austeridade
  • secured ↔ garantiu
  • avoided having to ↔ evitou ter que
  • customs union ↔ união aduaneira
  • as part of a deal ↔ como parte de um acordo
  • at the barricade ↔ na barricada
  • allies ↔ aliados
  • increasingly uneasy ↔ cada vez mais inquietos
  • the country has descended into chaos ↔ o país caiu no caos
  • have raised a growing outcry ↔ levantaram um crescente clamor
  • abductions ↔ sequestros
  • beatings ↔ espancamentos
  • surrogates ↔ substitutos
  • issued a statement ↔ emitiu uma declaração
  • attempting a coup ↔ tentativa de golpe
withdrew se retiraram
He asked that his name be withdrawn from nomination for a Golden Globe Award. ↔Ele pediu que seu nome fosse retirado da indicação para o Globo de Ouro.
I have to withdraw (= take out) some money from an ATM machine. ↔Eu tenho que sacar (= tirar) dinheiro de um caixa eletrônico.
had seized tinham tomado
Rebel forces seized control of six towns. ↔As forças rebeldes tomaram o controle de seis cidades.
struggling lutando
We watched boys on skateboards struggle to keep their balance. ↔Vimos meninos lutarem para manter o equilíbrio nos skates.
uprising revolta
Here was a great peasant uprising in 1908 of wild Indians. ↔Aqui houve uma grande revolta camponesa dos índios em 1908.
revoke a package revogar um pacote
Licenses can be revoked for up to five years. ↔As licenças podem ser revogadas por até cinco anos.
defuse aliviar
The two groups are trying to defuse tensions in the town council over the budget. ↔Os dois grupos estão tentando aliviar as tensões sobre o orçamento na Câmara Municipal.
repeal revogação
Legislators repealed the sales tax. ↔Os legisladores revogaram o imposto sobre vendas.
over other grievances sobre outras queixas
A special committee investigates prisoners’ grievances. ↔Uma comissão especial investiga as queixas dos presos.
perched empoleirado
(of a bird) to rest on a branch or other object, or of a person or thing to sit or be on the edge or top of something.
sharply bruscamente
Interest rates rose sharply last month. ↔As taxas de juros subiram acentuadamente no mês passado.
clashes confrontos
Three soldiers were killed on Tuesday when security forces clashed with the separatists. ↔Três soldados foram mortos na terça-feira, quando as forças de segurança entraram em confronto com os separatistas.
set off the crisis desencadeou a crise
What time do we set off tomorrow? ↔A que horas partimos amanhã?
▪ Her comments set off [=touched off] a chain of events that led to two people losing their jobs. ↔▪ Os comentários dela iniciaram uma cadeia de eventos que levaram à perda do emprego de duas pessoas.
outnumbered em desvantagem
Girls outnumbered boys by a margin of 2 to 1. ↔As meninas superam (em número) os meninos por uma margem de 2 para 1.
swiftly rebuffed repeliram rapidamente
Ellen made a remarkably swift recovery. ↔Ellen teve uma admirável rápida recuperação.
grip on power permanência no poder
Worn tires don’t grip very well on wet roads. ↔Os pneus gastos não aderem muito bem em estradas molhadas.
The baby gripped my finger. ↔O bebê agarrou o meu dedo.
Brady was gripped by fear. ↔Brady foi tomado pelo medo.
urged incitou
Party leaders urged her to run for Congress. ↔Os líderes do partido pediram a ela para concorrer ao Congresso.
achieve their goal alcançar seu objetivo
USA is helping the Russian terrorists achieve their goal in scaring American from traveling to Sochi. ↔Os EUA estão ajudando terroristas russos a alcançarem seu objetivo de assustar os americanos em viajar para Sochi.
in his term em seu mandato
▪ He is in favor of term limits for members of Congress. ↔▪ Ele é a favor da limitação de mandatos para os membros do Congresso.
reshaped reformulado
Governments have sought to reduce or reshape health programs. ↔Os governos têm procurado reduzir ou reformular os programas de saúde.
absent sem
She has had repeated absences from school this year. ↔Ela teve repetidas ausências da escola este ano.
empower habilitar
We want to empower individuals to get the skills they need. ↔Queremos capacitar os indivíduos a obter as habilidades de que necessitam.
thuggish agressiva
(behaving in a violent way)
▪ He was beaten and robbed by street thugs. ↔▪ Ele foi espancado e roubado por bandidos de rua.
wily astuto
▪ She turned out to be a wily negotiator. ↔▪ Ela acabou por ser uma negociadora astuta.
undertake empreender
The president directed the Department of Justice to undertake an investigation of the allegations. ↔O presidente determinou que o Departamento de Justiça empreenda uma investigação das alegações.
austerity measures medidas de austeridade
Greece austerity measures ruled unconstitutional. ↔As medidas de austeridade da Grécia foram consideradas inconstitucionais.
secured garantiu
▪ He secured a loan using his house as collateral. ↔▪ Ele garantiu um empréstimo usando sua casa como garantia.
customs union união aduaneira
The three countries have formed a customs union to promote trade. ↔Os três países formaram uma união aduaneira para promover o comércio.
increasingly uneasy cada vez mais inquietos
He stirred uneasily in his chair as she stared at him. ↔Ele se mexeu desconfortavelmente em sua cadeira enquanto ela olhava para ele.
have raised a growing outcry levantaram um crescente clamor
Plans to tear down the old courthouse led to a public outcry. ↔Os planos para derrubar o antigo tribunal levaram a um clamor público.
abductions sequestros
▪ He was abducted [=kidnapped] from his home. ↔▪ Ele foi sequestrado a partir de sua residência.
▪ She claims that she was abducted by aliens. ↔▪ Ela diz que foi abduzida por alienígenas.
surrogates substitutos
She seems to regard him as a surrogate for her father. ↔Ela parece considerá-lo como um substituto para o pai.


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