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Remembering Feb. 21, the Day When Maidan Supplanted the Ukrainian Constitution

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Instead of becoming the framework for a peaceful transition of power, the Agreement on settlement of political crisis in Ukraine ultimately untied the hands of the opposition and allowed them to capture government buildings without resistance, forcing the legitimate then-President Yanukovych out of country.

The Maidan turmoil in Ukraine began in late November 2013 with protests against President Viktor Yanukovych for postponing the signing of an agreement on association with the EU. It grew violent and saw the president flee the country in February 2014, with Ukraine's government being replaced by Western-backed figures. The Maidan threw Ukraine into turmoil and unleashed the war in Donbass.

© Sputnik / Andrey SteninAbove: Barricades in Kiev's Independence Square. (File)

On February 21, the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders Vitali Klitschko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleh Tyahnybok gathered to sign an Agreement on the settlement of the political crisis in Ukraine which was supposed to give the country an opportunity to resolve the crisis peacefully.
Remembering Feb. 21, the Day When Maidan Supplanted the Ukrainian Constitution - Sputnik International
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Above: Barricades in Kiev's Independence Square. (File)

On February 21, the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders Vitali Klitschko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleh Tyahnybok gathered to sign an Agreement on the settlement of the political crisis in Ukraine which was supposed to give the country an opportunity to resolve the crisis peacefully.
© Sputnik / Andrey SteninAbove: A radical opposition member sleeps on a barricade on Institutskaya Street, Kiev. (File)

According to the provisions of the Agreement, the Ukrainian government was to restore the 2004 constitution, adopt reforms balancing powers of the president, parliament and government and organize early presidential and parliamentary elections. Both the government and opposition were to refrain from the use of force.
Remembering Feb. 21, the Day When Maidan Supplanted the Ukrainian Constitution - Sputnik International
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Above: A radical opposition member sleeps on a barricade on Institutskaya Street, Kiev. (File)

According to the provisions of the Agreement, the Ukrainian government was to restore the 2004 constitution, adopt reforms balancing powers of the president, parliament and government and organize early presidential and parliamentary elections. Both the government and opposition were to refrain from the use of force.
© Sputnik / Andrey SteninAbove: A radical opposition supporter at a barricade on Institutskaya Street in Kiev. (File)

The agreement was signed by all participating opposition leaders – who represented the people on Maidan – on the one side, and Viktor Yanukovych on the other. The signing of the Agreement was witnessed by several representatives from the EU: Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Poland’s Marshal of the Sejm Radosław Sikorski and head of the Department for Continental Europe of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the French Republic Eric Fournier.
Remembering Feb. 21, the Day When Maidan Supplanted the Ukrainian Constitution - Sputnik International
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Above: A radical opposition supporter at a barricade on Institutskaya Street in Kiev. (File)

The agreement was signed by all participating opposition leaders – who represented the people on Maidan – on the one side, and Viktor Yanukovych on the other. The signing of the Agreement was witnessed by several representatives from the EU: Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Poland’s Marshal of the Sejm Radosław Sikorski and head of the Department for Continental Europe of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the French Republic Eric Fournier.
© Sputnik / Andrey SteninAbove: Radical opposition supporters on a barricade on Institutskaya Street in Kiev. (File)

On the same day, the Ukrainian parliament unanimously voted in favor of changing the constitution back to its 2004 form, for the suspension of acting Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko and changes to the country's criminal code, required to free the imprisoned opposition figure Yulia Tymoshenko.
Remembering Feb. 21, the Day When Maidan Supplanted the Ukrainian Constitution - Sputnik International
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Above: Radical opposition supporters on a barricade on Institutskaya Street in Kiev. (File)

On the same day, the Ukrainian parliament unanimously voted in favor of changing the constitution back to its 2004 form, for the suspension of acting Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko and changes to the country's criminal code, required to free the imprisoned opposition figure Yulia Tymoshenko.
© Sputnik / Andrey SteninAbove: A radical opposition member by a barricade on Institutskaya Street, Kiev. (File)

Late afternoon February 21, reports started to surface that most of the riot police had begun to withdraw from all parts of the Ukrainian capital, followed by the unrestricted occupation of the government buildings by the forces of opposition.
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Above: A radical opposition member by a barricade on Institutskaya Street, Kiev. (File)

Late afternoon February 21, reports started to surface that most of the riot police had begun to withdraw from all parts of the Ukrainian capital, followed by the unrestricted occupation of the government buildings by the forces of opposition.
© Sputnik / Andrey SteninAbove: Radical opposition supporters sing the national anthem of Ukraine on a barricade on Institutskaya Street. (File)

After the opposition leaders, who participated in signing the Agreement, announced the deal with the president, some prominent opposition figures expressed their discontent with it and threatened to renew the offensive and capture the presidential and parliamentary buildings if Yanukovych didn’t resign the next day.
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Above: Radical opposition supporters sing the national anthem of Ukraine on a barricade on Institutskaya Street. (File)

After the opposition leaders, who participated in signing the Agreement, announced the deal with the president, some prominent opposition figures expressed their discontent with it and threatened to renew the offensive and capture the presidential and parliamentary buildings if Yanukovych didn’t resign the next day.
© Sputnik / Andrey SteninAbove: Opposition leaders during a mourning event to commemorate the memory of those who died during an anti-government protest rally in Independence Square. (File)

Around 22:00, reports appeared in the media that Viktor Yanukovych left Kiev for the city of Kharkiv, apparently out of fear for his life. He later fled the country and arrived in Russia.
Remembering Feb. 21, the Day When Maidan Supplanted the Ukrainian Constitution - Sputnik International
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Above: Opposition leaders during a mourning event to commemorate the memory of those who died during an anti-government protest rally in Independence Square. (File)

Around 22:00, reports appeared in the media that Viktor Yanukovych left Kiev for the city of Kharkiv, apparently out of fear for his life. He later fled the country and arrived in Russia.
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