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Heavyweight champion shocked at Ukraine deaths

Boxing Klitschko Leapai
SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko expressed shock and revulsion Thursday at the deaths in his country, and said Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych must step down before civil war engulfs the nation.

Klitschko, the brother of opposition leader Vitali Klitschko, said the situation in Ukraine had spiraled out of control because of government provocation.

"My own people are killing each other. It's something worse than a dream," Klitschko said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from Hamburg. "I am just speechless. I can't believe something like this is happening in my country."

Klitschko, who was in Kiev last month when the demonstrations were still peaceful, claimed the deaths in recent days were part of a government plan to break the opposition by forcing the Army to come in and impose martial law.

He called on the world to hold Yanukovych responsible for the violence, which he compared to some of the worst actions of dictators of the past.

"The way he acts is as a terrorist," Klitschko said. "If he's going to keep doing what he's doing he definitely put himself in the footsteps of (late Libyan dictator Moammar) Gadhafi.

Klitschko said he was horrified at the scenes of violence in Kiev, and video of bodies lying side by side on the edge of the demonstration. He said demonstrators had been peaceful for three months, and that the government instigated the fighting that left many dead and buildings in flames.

"It's brothers killing brothers, which is not acceptable," he said. "There is enough video documentation online you can see in daylight people getting shot just standing there. I'm not talking about one, we're talking about 100 people in different ways killed, either by torturing or snipers."

Klitschko talked Thursday night from Hamburg, where he is training for an April 26 title defense. His brother, Vitali, was also a longtime heavyweight champion but resigned his title last year so he could concentrate on politics in Ukraine.

Klitschko said he talked to his brother a few hours earlier Thursday, and he remained unafraid. The conversation was short and chaotic, he said, but his brother's will remains unchanged.

"I asked, `How are you doing?' He said, `I'm alive.'"

"I said, `Thank you.'"

Video footage on Ukrainian television showed scenes of protesters being cut down by gunfire, and teams of protesters carrying bodies away on sheets of plastic or planks of wood. Protest doctors accused government snipers of killing at least 70 people and wounding hundreds others.

"Three months ago nobody would have ever thought it would happen like this," Klitschko said. "The way it went you could see like in a chess game that it was certainly planned from the side of power from the side of president."

Klitschko praised Ukrainian skier Bogdana Matsotska for pulling out of the Olympics in protest at the government action, and said other Olympians should find their own ways to make a statement.

He expressed hope that other nations would come to the aid of the demonstrators by putting pressure on the government.

"The resolution is out there, it's always out there," he said. "It just can't happen with the president still in office."

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oldmandowntown2 February 21 2014 at 12:13 AM

It's a shame what's going on over there, people demonstrating in a peaceful manner and being gunned down. Over there they are standing up for what they believe in, and not just sit back and complain about what their gov't is doing. Maybe some day people in this country will stand up for what's right. Right now our elected officials, could care less about what is wrong in this country. An I'm not just blaming one party either. Our do nothing Congress is a disgrace to this country, but yet they get away with it. They was off 235 days this past session, and the days they were doing their jobs all they thought about changing was abortion, immigration, deficit reduction at middle class expense and Obamacare. Each one of those issues was brought up at least 7 or 8 times, knowing it would never pass in the Senate. When in reality the problem is them, by attaching pork barrel attachments to pieces of legislation. It's okay if it pertains to the legislation they voted on. But more times than not, it has nothing to do with it. They want to refer to it as special earmarks, but it still just another piece of pork barrel spending. In my almost 70 years of living, I have never seen a group of politicians (GOP) lie as much as these politicians do. I'm not saying the Democrats don't lie about things, but not they are no where close to how much the GOP lies. I do agree with the GOP stance on immigration, which is hard for me to admit. When they talk about the American people are against different issues, what they really mean is that Grover Norquist and his associates are against it. When they made that big deal or pledge to the American people about no new taxes, they signed that pledge to Norquist to get campaign contributions from him. That no new taxes pledge was referring to the wealthy and big business, not everybody. People around the world are standing up against their gov'ts, for doing what they think is not right for the people. But here we just sit back and do nothing, like leading sheep to the slaughter. The issue by news reports, is the gov't of Ukraine turning away from the European country's and getting financial help from Russia. They don't want anything to do with Russia again and their leaders knew that, but they did what they wanted anyway and turned to Russia.

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tyler02 February 21 2014 at 1:30 AM

Where is that renown individual who ran for the Presidency in 2007 and 2008? He said he would reunite those countries that were at war. He said he would reunite the United States of America who had a two party system and seemed to not agree with one another - he would fix that, he said.
Is it fixed? What did Hillary accomplish as Secretary of State. What Has John Kerry accomplished?
After being elected, BHO went overseas and blamed the U.S. of AS for all of their problems. He apologized. Right now there is more war and killings that I can ever remember all over the world.
What have you done, Mr Obama? And Americans love one another - I don't think so - we are at odds more than I can ever remember and I am 83 on St Patricks Day. What did you do to us Mr Obama? Your Promise of healing us? What did you do Mr Obama?
This is what you get when you do not vet those running for a political post. And the Times and Washington Post will be supporting Hillary - What did you do in Benghazi, Mrs Clinton? Tell us, please what did you do? You couldn't even look into the eyes of those families of their loved ones who were murdered. Why isn't the media doing their job on therse murders? would they if they could blame Mr Bush? You know they would, every day! Liberals get away with murder and lying and cheating on their wives and on and on it goes. And then BHO can stand up and look us all in the camera and say, I will do what I want, I have a pen and Executive Orders - which means he will do whatever he wants (a violation of the Constitution) . Woe is we - the American People - $18 trillion and counting.

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a3bplus February 20 2014 at 11:37 PM

Ukraine, is a powder keg, getting ready to explode! This is no different than what is happening across many other countries across the World. People are fed up with imbalance, and do not know what to do, but to lash out against authority (which usually equates to the Government). Authority, will want to maintain control, so they will retaliate swiftly and aggressively. But, the problems will never improve, if the imbalances continue. The Rich and Powerful will never relinquish anything, as they are psychotic is their desires for more, never satisfied wanting more at the expense of the Masses. This is not perception as the Rich and Powerful will have you believe, and do constantly pay favorably to maintain this status quo. But this is our Reality, sooner or later, the Masses wake from their slumber, and Ukraine happens, Syria happens, Libya happens, plug in another poor Country, will happen. Wake Up Elite..... the problem is YOU!!!

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olehippi February 20 2014 at 11:31 PM

Behind all the chaos you will find Vladimir Putin, who one country at a time will try to rebuild the old Soviet Union.

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scr151 February 21 2014 at 4:33 AM

Those blaming President Obama for what is happening in the Ukraine are showing their ignorance. The Ukraine government associated with Russia of their own free will; and took their financial support. Also note that President Obama could care less whether Putin "likes or respects" him or not. This situation is damaging to the Ukrainians; Americans are not affected. Unfortunately, Americans cannot and should not be expected to "police" the whole world! Hopefully, this Ukrainian problem will be resolved in the near future...

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1 reply
dlmcons scr151 February 21 2014 at 7:19 AM

Spoken like a real isolationist. Thank God there are still humans who do care about their fellow man. If we stand by and do nothing, we will soon be in the same condition as Ukraine. The bullys get stronger if nobody stands up. You will not be needed to help. Your kind never is, so bask in your freedom while you can. You do not matter in the great scheme of things and are unimportant to the cause of liberty and humanity.

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russ311 February 20 2014 at 10:31 PM

Power to the People!! You are all Heros. Tyranny must be eradicated.

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rickstewart58 February 20 2014 at 9:22 PM

We should all be appalled at this. No matter whom we are or where we come from or where we are going. There is no room for such hatred and ignorance. In any way, shape or form.

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dentiom03 February 21 2014 at 5:19 AM

dumb people will always blame president obama. really dumb people, with no basis for assigning blame.

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1 reply
dlmcons dentiom03 February 21 2014 at 7:16 AM

Keep your blinders on my friend. You will soon wake up to what is happening under this King.

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1 reply
Vadim A. dlmcons February 21 2014 at 8:12 AM

glad you awake, now go back to your bunker.

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thomasthomasmmm February 20 2014 at 9:49 PM

Our prayers go with them. I hope they don't expect any help from the Obama regime as Putin just laughs at him.

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1 reply
gjohn411 thomasthomasmmm February 20 2014 at 10:13 PM

Ya, let just hope no more presidents pull a bush

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dlmcons February 21 2014 at 7:14 AM

A Government gone bezerk that does not value the dignity or freedom rights of it's citizens. No,not Ukraine but USA! Government is becoming more corrupt everyday under this administration and we have lived free so long we now take it for granted. A month ago i was standing in my front yard when two police cars rolled in and began bullying my wife and i . When i asked what was going on i was tackled and beaten severely for absolutely no reason. They were supposed to arrest someone else but brutalised me instead. Just for asking what was happening. It is a sure sign of to big of a government. People around here are being shot and killed by law enforcement for no reason. God help our country.It can happen to you!

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2 replies
hambrock7 dlmcons February 21 2014 at 8:51 AM

I don't see where you mentioned anything bout filing a report on this incident, hich would be number one for me.

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hambrock7 dlmcons February 21 2014 at 8:52 AM

File report

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