|Ukrainians demonstrating in support of EU integration|
Tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens all over Ukraine and now also worldwide are protesting against the government’s decision to suspend the process of European integration of Ukraine and the preparation to the signing of the Association Agreement and demonstrating in support of EU integration.
Ukrainian government has issued an official statement on Thursday, 21 November, stating that all the processes of the preparation to the signing of the Association Agreement with the countries members of EU are officially suspended in order to protect the national interests and security of Ukraine and to work for the further development of the country to be more prepared for the cooperation with EU as the government claims the country will suffer great economic losses if it will sign an agreement and loose the Russian market.
This decision shocked not only Ukrainian citizens and European politicians and diplomats, it was also shocking news for the ruling party as well as many members of pro-Yanukovich Party of Region didn’t expect such a turn.
|Ukrainians protesting in the capital's downtown|
(Image: Forbes UA)
Thousands of Ukrainians went to the streets of Kyiv on the Thursday night called by the internet campaign held by Ukrainian prominent journalist Mustafa Nayem. People have gathered in Independence Square which is an iconic place for Ukrainian people since Orange Revolution, and during several hours their numbers have significantly increased.
It’s worth mentioning that this demonstration was an expression of people’s will as it was organized totally spontaneously using only social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Ukrainian joint oppositional forces have called for Ukrainians to hold nationwide demonstrations called “Narodne Viche” (“People’s Council”) on Sunday 24 November in attempt to express European aspirations of Ukrainians people and protests against the authorities ignoring the will of Ukrainian people.
Despite the bad weather and constant rains hundreds of people stayed in the Square to spend the night and to hold this site, as the police forces have attempted to close the area and to erect the metal fences there.
|CSF patrolling the area of protest|
(Image: Express News)
The demonstrations are ongoing and the numbers of people are increasing. More than three and half thousand people are protesting in Kyiv during three days. The wave of protests called Euromaidan captured other Ukrainian cities as well with the massive demonstrations being held in many cities including Lviv, Ivano-Frankovsk, Uzhgorod, Lutsk, Chernigiv, Odessa, Chernivtsi, Cherkassy and many others. Lviv activists have gathered nearly six thousand people march as well. Even Eastern and Southern Ukrainian cities and Crimea which are traditionally pro-Russian and pro-Yanukovich have joined the demonstrations for EU integration with the rallies being held in Lugansk, Donetsk and Crimean cities as well.
On Saturday, 23 November, the Euromaidan demonstrations have been held also in other cities worldwide including USA, United Kingdom of Britain, Poland, Germany etc. Ukrainians living abroad have supported Euromaidan and political will of Ukrainians protesting currently in Ukrainian cities.
The atmosphere during the protests remains peaceful and friendly despite several provocations. Though the situation could possible escalate as the ruling powers declared there is another meeting of the government’s and President’s supporters and opponents of the EU integration planned to be held on Sunday on the Independence Square. EU supporters are calling for the people to come and support them and not to leave the Square in order to prevent the opponents from taking and blocking it and to avoid possible provocations and clashes.
|Demonstrations in support on EU integration in Ukraine|
(Image: Kyiv Day)
Massive rally of Ukrainian citizens willing to express their political will and dissatisfaction with the actions of the power is expected to be held on Sunday, 24 November, in downtown Kyiv. People from all over Ukraine are arriving to the capital in attempt to join the all-Ukrainian march to support EU integration process and to show the EU politicians and all the world that Ukrainian citizens won’t allow the authorities to manipulate their will and their futures. Oppositional leaders including Arseny Yatsenyuk, Vitaly Klichko, Oleg Tyagnybok and others are delivering their speeches during the demonstrations being held in Independence Square and call for all Ukrainians to gather on Sunday for the nationwide march.
In addition to that Ukrainian opposition considers the acts of Ukrainian government and President being national treason and declared the beginning of gathering the signatures for Victor Yanukovich’s impeachment and resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and all the Cabinet of Ministers as well. The opposition has started to gather the signatures in Ukrainian parliament, though on Saturday the activists have started to gather also the signatures of Ukrainian citizens as well.
Meanwhile EU politicians and diplomats including the heads of the monitoring mission to Ukraine Aleksander Kwaśniewski and Pat Cox state the doors of EU and Association aren’t closed for Ukrainian people and there is still a chance the Agreement will be signed. Though the level of trust to the current government and Ukrainian President is extremely low among the European politicians. Most probably the Agreement will not be signed during the Summit in Vilnius which is planned to be held on 28-29 November, and the time out in the negotiations with Ukraine could last even several years, according to some European diplomats and political figures.
The press service of Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich though has announced that he is expected to be present at the Vilnius Summit.