KIEV, February 20 (RIA Novosti) – The mayor of Kiev quit the country’s ruling Party of Regions on Thursday amid the deadly unrest in the Ukrainian capital.
“I’ve made the decision to leave the Party of Regions and take personal responsibility for ensuring that daily city life keeps going in Kiev … In difficult times like this, I carry the enormous responsibility for every resident of Kiev,” Volodymyr Makeyenko said in a video address posted on City Hall’s website.
“As head of the city administration, I am overseeing the burial of dozens of bodies of ordinary people every day,” he said. “My main aim is to save the lives of Ukrainians. I will be the chair of the Kiev city administration as long as the people of Ukraine trust me,” he said.
Makeyenko was appointed to the position less than a month ago, on January 25.
At least 25 people were reportedly killed Thursday in renewed unrest in Ukraine’s capital as the violent standoff between anti-government protesters and riot police pushed the former Soviet nation to the verge of all-out civil conflict.
The killings broke a short-lived suspension of hostilities that followed clashes this week that claimed another 28 lives, including those of at least 10 police officers. Both sides have accused the other of using live rounds to shoot each other.
The violence in Ukraine is the worst the nation has seen since it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.