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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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thomashollman19 February 21 2014 at 8:22 AM

Mother nature culling her many herds

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rrpatreilly February 21 2014 at 7:15 AM

See what happens when you take the guns out of the hands of the people. Be afraid. This could happen here. Why do you think our government is buying millions and millions of rounds of ammunition? The IRS has armored cars and modern army weapons, the Post Office is armed as well and forgedabout the dept of homeland security. Remember when obama said he wanted a civilian police force as well trained and armed as our army? Did you ask your self why? Here is the answer. obama is already replacing top army generals with puppets of his own chosing.

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Vadim A. February 21 2014 at 8:11 AM

The only thing you should be afraid in this country is the gun nutz whose paranoia gets the better of them.

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mad1675 February 21 2014 at 8:31 AM

Hello comrade Vadim ! Evidently you prefer Ukrain servitude under the heel of the Russian boot. The PEOPLE did not invite the Russian relationship, their corrupt leader did. I suppose its better for the Ukrainian's to be starved and exterminated again under Socialist servitude ! There is starvation in the former republics and things are run by criminals and former military and KGB. Medicine is scarce and people still live in fear. Great system you support.

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rogerzotti February 21 2014 at 8:29 AM

I'm still wondering about those weapons of mass destruction over which we went to war under Presdent Cheney....We should concern ourselves with them, shouldn't we?

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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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hambrock7 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 February 21 2014 at 8:52 AM

File report

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

glad you awake, now go back to your bunker.

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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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dlmcons 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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ishee92 February 21 2014 at 2:02 AM

When the leader of Ukraine took bail out money from Russia, instead of the European country's that sealed the deal. Putin is in charge whether people in Ukraine likes it or not. As far as some think or believe that Putin has no respect for Obama, Putin has no respect for anyone. The Ukraine president has no choice now they are locked in, when he took the money the deal was sealed. He's what we call, between a rock and a hard place. The U.N. is not going to do anything, Russia is a voting member there. It's not about what's right or wrong, it's about who got the power. Putin is ruthless and the Ukrainian President knows it. When Putin predicted the results a year and a half before his last election, should tell everybody something. Obama can't declare War , only Congress can do that. Obama can ask Congress, to declare war, but it's their decision.

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dlmcons February 21 2014 at 7:20 AM

You are wrong. Obama can do anything with his pen and phone. He hasn't concerned himself with Congress so far. The crookedest and weakest president ever. Carter should be happy now because he is no longer the worst!

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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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flexireal February 21 2014 at 1:14 AM

What are you all complaining about putin at least he release most of his prisoner, here in U.S we have over 1.5 million in u.s prison and another 20 millions with felony records can't vote or find a good paying job, and it's not getting better here in AMERICA, more racists then ever .

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Don Murphy February 21 2014 at 1:37 AM

Is that your best attempt at mindlessly defending the thoroughly repugnant Putin? You should be utterly ashamed.

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flexireal February 21 2014 at 12:46 AM

Obama is under control by the 2% the rich , can't make a move to help the people because they will in peach him , you figure it out.

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Brutal February 21 2014 at 12:59 AM

LOL ... someone is hiding in the bushes outside your window.

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RHReese February 21 2014 at 6:33 AM

It's impeach not in peach.

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flexireal February 21 2014 at 12:40 AM

Obama has no control or the power or will to be a true American standup President , as you already know 100 thousands kill in Mexico, another 100 thousand kill in Syria by u.s. funds , it's up to the people of Ukraine to learn to live toghther in peace and poor , greed is what fuel this dealth trap.

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