Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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Kerry on Ukraine Crackdown: “Disgust”

by Elliott Abrams
December 10, 2013

Recently I criticized the President for silence on the events in Ukraine. Today the situation worsened, as the government in Kiev sent riot police to break up peaceful demonstrations. And tonight, Secretary of State Kerry responded with an unusual statement, the full text of which is below.

What’s unusual is his decision to eschew the usual State Department vocabulary: saying we’re troubled, or concerned, or some other form of diplomatic lingo. What he said was “the United States expresses its disgust.”

I’ve followed State pretty closely for about 35 years now, since the Reagan days, and I do not ever recall the use of the term “disgust.” Bravo to Kerry! The situation absolutely calls for that word, which must reflect his genuine reaction to tonight’s news from Kiev. Perhaps the United States cannot change the situation there, but we owe it the courageous demonstrators to speak the truth about what is happening. And that is what Kerry did tonight.

 

 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release December 10, 2013
2013/1555

Statement by Secretary Kerry

Statement on Events in Ukraine

The United States expresses its disgust with the decision of Ukrainian authorities to meet the peaceful protest in Kyiv’s Maidan Square with riot police, bulldozers, and batons, rather than with respect for democratic rights and human dignity. This response is neither acceptable nor does it befit a democracy.

Last week in Brussels and Moldova, I underscored publicly the importance of all sides avoiding violence and called on President Yanukovych to fulfill the aspirations of the Ukranian people. We put the government on notice about our concern.

As Vice President Biden made clear to President Yanukovych during their phone call yesterday, respect for democractic principles, including freedom of assembly, is fundamental to the United States’ approach to Ukraine. This is a universal value not just an American one. For weeks, we have called on President Yanukovych and his government to listen to the voices of his people who want peace, justice and a European future. Instead, Ukraine’s leaders appear tonight to have made a very different choice.

We call for utmost restraint. Human life must be protected. Ukrainian authorities bear full responsibility for the security of the Ukrainian people.

As church bells ring tonight amidst the smoke in the streets of Kyiv, the United States stands with the people of Ukraine. They deserve better.

Post a Comment 8 Comments

  • Posted by Bohdan Pokora

    Type your comment in here…It is clear that the Yanukovych regime cares neither for Ukraine’s citizens or world opinion. The next step should be the freezing of the regime’s overseas assets, as well as of the pro Yanukovich oligarchs

  • Posted by Nikolay

    Dying, dying convulsions and objectives for campaigns expose them idiots for all reasonable lyudey.V calls for any country to change the government imprisoned, or deported delegate.
    Why Russia is not coming to America to overthrow the Obama administration?

  • Posted by Konstantin

    Mr. Kerry, please, make the difference between a peaceful protest and building barricades over a busy street. The pressure from the streets is nether a legal or democratic way to change the government, but the election is.

  • Posted by orysia jakowiw

    It is about time this came to a head. Ukrainian people deserve what we all have freedom. Let push ourgovernment to do something about it. STOP being nice to the RUSSIANS govenment, they are the worst in the world. Have you not learned yet. They do not want Ukrainians to join EU for a reason. They want to CONTROL UKRAINE. Nobody wants this to happen .PLease freeze their assets MR> YANUKOVYCH is a theif and a MURDERER. Have you ever heard of an AMERICAN PRESIDENT being in JAIL well he has. PLease do something about this. THank you

  • Posted by Dr Richard Carter

    Excellent comments by Kerry on the situation in Ukraine, but did you see his similar comments on the lethal violence meted out to demonstrators in Egypt?

    Did he say “The United States expresses its disgust with the decision of the Egyptian authorities to meet the peaceful protest in the Nasr City district of Cairo, and in Alexandria, Luxor, Damanhour and Suez, with riot police, bulldozers, and batons [and tear gas and live bullets], rather than with respect for democratic rights and human dignity. This response is neither acceptable nor does it befit a democracy. Last week in Brussels and Moldova, I underscored publicly the importance of all sides avoiding violence and called on President Adly Mansour to fulfill the aspirations of the Egyptian people. We put the government on notice about our concern.”

    No, of course he didn’t say any such thing (and he can’t even muster the integrity to call the military coup a coup); the man is not only stupid, he’s a stinking hypocrite.

  • Posted by Charlie Wilson II

    Ukraine is Second Afghanistan♪ v(゚∀゚)b Ukekeke

  • Posted by Leadership Development

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  • Posted by Elliott Abrams

    These blogs are in the public domain, I believe, as long as accurate sourcing is given.

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