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Monday, November 25, 2013

Ukraine rose for nationwide demonstration supporting European integration of Ukraine and protesting against the decision of the government

Massive pro-EU rallies in Kyiv
(Image: Liga News)
Nationwide demonstrations in support of European integration’s path of Ukraine are ongoing all over Ukraine with the unprecedented numbers of demonstrators gathered in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities as well.

After three days and nights of protests Ukrainians has gathered for the massive rally planned by Ukrainian joint oppositional forces in attempt to express their political will and their disapproval of the official policies of Ukrainian government and President regarding the international relations of Ukraine and signing of the Association Agreement with the EU countries.

On Thursday, 21 November, several thousands of people have gathered in Kyiv downtown, on the iconic Independence Square, to protests the decision of the government to suspend the preparation to the signing of the Association Agreement with the countries members of EU expected to be signed on Summit in Vilnius on 28-29 November. The people’s initiative started from the totally spontaneous Facebook and Twitter campaign resulted in the massive demonstrations being held in Kyiv and in other Ukrainian cities as well. Demonstrations called “Euromaidan” and supporting European political course of Ukraine were held also worldwide.

Ukrainians demonstration in support of EU integration
(Image: Segodnya UA)
Sunday, 24 November, was marked with the massive demonstrations being held in Kyiv and across the country as well. Demonstrators in Kyiv have started their march from the Taras Shevchenko Park in front of the National University and started to move towards European Square, the key location of the planned marches. The column of demonstrators was that huge that it took all Khreschatyk Street (main street of Kyiv), Independence Square and European Square as well, locating also on the slopes of Maryynsky Park and taking part of the Hrushevsky Street, the street where Cabinet of Ministers and Parliament are located.

More than 100 thousand people have gathered on Sunday in downtown Kyiv with tens of thousands protesting in other cities as well. Thus, there are more than 22 thousand demonstrators in Lviv.

Hundreds of people of strange outfit have arrived in Kyiv on the buses and have gathered in front of the Presidential Administration. These people were moving in the organized columns towards the European Square where the EU supporters have gathered. These people behaved aggressive and refused to communicated with the journalists and explain who they are and what are they doing here. It appeared later that these people arrived to make provocations and cause the clashes between the demonstrators and security forces.

As the columns of EU integration supporters have started to move towards Cabinet of Ministers building, these people deployed with the buses were playing the role of the human shield blocking the way to the governmental building and trying to clash with the demonstrators. Police and security forces have cordoned the perimeter around the building of Cabinet of Ministers, where the marches turned into clashes with police firing tear gas in attempt to disperse the crowds while the people attempted to storm the building.
Pro-European march in Kyiv
(Image: Segodnya UA)

The column led by the oppositional leaders Arseny Yatsenyuk, Vitaly Klichko and Oleg Tyagnybok has moved towards the building of Parliament in order to support people.

The clashes were stopped as the demonstrators didn’t react on the provocations. The buildings of the Cabinet of Ministers and of Parliament are surrounded by the security forces and demonstrators singing anthem of Ukraine and Ukrainian songs. In the evening the atmosphere there was calm and friendly despite the police cordons.

Massive protests are ongoing now with many political leaders, activists, artists, intellectuals delivering their speeches and calling for Ukrainians to stand for their choice and for their future. People are chanting for European future of Ukraine stating Ukrainian people have chosen the direction of the further development of their country and this direction is European path with democratic values and standards of life. Protesters have been also chanting to support imprisoned ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko demanding her release. Among the slogans and motto of Euromaidan were the chants against current President Victor Yanukovich and the current government as well and the demands for resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers and impeachment of President.

Security forces firing tear gas during storming of Cabinet of
Ministers building
(Image: BBC)
Many artists and singers have performed on the stage of Euromaidan, and the atmosphere there is very friendly and warm despite the rainy weather and heavy fogs.

The nationwide protest action was officially declared being unlimited. Protesters declare they will demonstrate until their demands will be met and Yanukovich will finally sign Association Agreement in Vilnius. The tents have been erected on the European Square and in front of the building of the Cabinet of Ministers as well.

Tents erected on the European Square
(Image: Radio Svoboda)
Meanwhile security forces and riot police have made two serious attempts to disperse the demonstrations on the Independence and European Squares, but the protesters have protected their cites and remain in the squares calling for other people to come and joint them for the sake of the future of Ukrainians.

Ukrainian government has issued a short statement claiming this decision was the only one possible under the current circumstances and the wise one. Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich hasn’t’ appeared in public since the beginning of the protests and didn’t comment the situation in the country.