Kiev Deaths Lie Solely on Ukraine President: Pifer

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Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- In today’s “Global Outlook,” Steven Pifer, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, explains the global implications of the violence raging in Kiev on Bloomberg Television’s “In The Loop.”

Time now for the global outlook.

The violence we are witnessing in ukraine as a complex history and potentially far-reaching implications for the u.s. and the rest of the world.

Joining me is former u.s. ambassador to ukraine and the arms control and nonproliferation initiative director for the brookings institution.

Thank you so much for joining us on this story, as we have been watching very closely the next several days.

We were just showing some live pictures, steve, of what is going on on the ground, which is relatively compared to what we have seen over the last day or so, relatively calm.

But what are the risks we will see this violence escalate even further?

I think the concern is that while there appears now to be a temporary lull, you still have the police surrounding tens of thousands of demonstrators in the central square.

That was sort of a safe area.

The demonstrators were peaceful and there were no police actions since the end of november.

So it crossed the line last night.

I think there is concern the government intends to continue the crackdown, which is very unfortunate because it will only evil a broad public backlash against the government and will also -- evoke a broad public backlash against the government.

You said before that the protesters, they feel very much that the president of the government is in bed with russia and vladimir putin.

I am imagining right now he is at the olympics, he is at sochi and he is watching what is going on over there with the olympics in sports, but he must have his eye right now on ukraine.

What do you think put in bank -- putin is thinking now?

We have to bear in mind, the responsibility for what happened yesterday lies first and foremost with viktor yanukovych, the president of ukraine.

But having said this, i think mr.

Putin is probably pleased with what is going on in kiev.

Images lashing across europe over the last day and a half of the totality of the police forces in attacking the demonstrators is showing ukraine in a very ugly light and from mr.

Putin's view, it will widen the gap between europe and ukraine.

That was really the objective of russia last fall, was to try to stop ukraine from drawing closer to the european union.

These images are not going to make easier for ukraine to continue the course.

Second, i think there were people in russia uncomfortable by these ongoing large demonstrations in the ukraine, the worry being that at some point would russians get the idea that they, too, might take to the streets to protest an authoritarian government.

Isn't this use of heavy force only going to bolster the opposition and show the divide even more on a global stage and perhaps give the opposition even more fuel?

No, this is exactly -- ukrainians are a peaceful people.

They took a lot of pride in the fact that the orange revolution was bloodless.

And because of the government's heavy-handed use of force, there have been 30 people now killed by some estimates.

And i think you are going to see a broader backlash from the ukrainian public against the government for what happened yesterday.

And that will bolster support for the demonstrators.

Stephen, really quickly, here in the u.s., at what point do we get involved?

I think we need to bear in mind here that the solution has to be found primarily by ukrainians.

But i think that the united

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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