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A volunteer distributes buns to anti-government protesters in central Kiev February 8, 2014.
A volunteer distributes buns to anti-government protesters in central Kiev February 8, 2014.
(GLEB GARANICH/REUTERS)

DOUG SAUNDERS

Stuck between the West and Putin, Yanukovych’s moment of truth has arrived

This is the moment of truth for Viktor Yanukovych, the embattled Ukrainian president: Will he compromise with the protesters who have taken over Ukraine’s major cities during the past two months, or will he crack down harder and use military force to put an end to the protest movement?

During the past month, he has done both: First he cracked down, until his attempt to use police to drive the protesters out of Kiev’s Independence Square was rebuffed by Molotov cocktail-throwing protesters; then he compromised by dismissing his cabinet and promising to revoke anti-protest laws.