Protest continues in Ukraine's Kiev

2013-12-29 22:30
(Genya Savilov, AFP)

(Genya Savilov, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Kiev -  About 20 000 people protested in Ukraine's capital on Sunday, maintaining more than a month of rallies opposing the government's decision to shelve a key deal with the European Union.

But the turnout on a clear, cold day was markedly lower than at previous rallies, which had attracted hundreds of thousands of people.

As it has before, Sunday's rally opened with speeches by the country's spiritual leaders, including Christian priests, a rabbi and a mufti who called for a national unity and stressed the protesters' right to have the government they want.

Oleh Tyahnybok, head of the opposition national party Svoboda notorious for his racist rhetoric, emphasized that Ukrainians in the west and the east should unite to fight for their rights.

"We are all Ukrainians and want our fair demands to be met," he said in his speech.

Most demonstrators in Kiev come from western and central regions, while many people in the mostly Russian-speaking east and the south back closer ties with Moscow.

The demonstrations were sparked by President Viktor Yanukovych's decision last month to spike the EU deal in favour of closer ties with Russia. The move angered many Ukrainians, who hoped that closer ties with the EU would help end centuries of Russia's domination.

The protests were galvanized by a brutal police crackdown on 30 November, but Yanukovych's government has since limited the use of force in an apparent hope that protests will fizzle out.

Yanukovych also has sought to assuage the protesters' anger by releasing some of the jailed opposition activists and suspending several top officials regarding the crackdown, but thousands of demonstrators have maintained their vigil and the crowd has swelled over the weekends.

After several attempts to clear the protesters by force drew strong condemnation from the West, the president now appears set on waiting them out.

Kiev's Independence square, or the Maidan, was filled with woodfire smoke on Sunday coming from field kitchens and stoves that protesters installed in the tents they have been living in for weeks. The city's main street, Khreshchatyk, has been barricaded with wooden planks, sacks filled with snow, and car tires since November's crackdown.

At Sunday's rally, many of the demonstrators wore ribbons in the colours of the Ukrainian national flag and remained confident that their campaign will win.

Halina Kalymivska, 58, said the turnout could be lower than hoped because of the holiday season but that the underlying problems that sparked the protests have not gone away.

"It can't go on like this any longer. We want a normal life so that we can at least afford basic food," she said. "I don't think that people are disillusioned. Nothing has changed. People will keep on protesting, even after the holidays."

Opposition leaders continued pushing their demands for the Cabinet resignation, but they have toned down demands for Yanukovych's ousting.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk of the Batkivshchyna Party said the main three opposition parties that led the protest at the Maidan will work together ahead the 2015 presidential election to build a team "which is capable of making Ukraine a European country."

Oleksandr Turchynov, a lawmaker from the same party, read an opposition manifesto in the square, demanding the government's resignation and the firing of a riot police force blamed for the brutal November crackdown.

- AP

Read more on:    viktor yanukovych  |  ukraine
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Anglican Church urges people to vote

The Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has called on his congregation to use their right to vote, amid a campaign to spoil ballot papers.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 8520

Wi-Fi enabled With the BlackBerry Curve 8520 connect to your home...

From R1100.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.