News / Europe

Protests Continue in Ukraine Against Refusal to Sign EU Deal

Lawmaker and chairman of the Ukrainian opposition party Udar (Punch), Vitaly Klitschko, centre left, walks with Arseniy Yatsenyuk, centre, and Oleg Tyagnibok, centre right, as they could not get entry into a government building, Nov. 27, 2013.
Lawmaker and chairman of the Ukrainian opposition party Udar (Punch), Vitaly Klitschko, centre left, walks with Arseniy Yatsenyuk, centre, and Oleg Tyagnibok, centre right, as they could not get entry into a government building, Nov. 27, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Ukrainians on Wednesday kept up their nearly week-long protest against the government's decision not to sign a landmark trade deal with the EU in favor of increasing ties with Russia.

About 5,000 people gathered on Independence Square in Kyiv.  Some signed their names on a huge cloth banner to be delivered to President Viktor Yanukovych urging Ukraine to enter into the trade agreement with the EU.

Earlier Wednesday, at least 1,000 protesters gathered outside a government building in Kyiv.

Three opposition leaders participating in the protests failed to gain entry to the Cabinet of Ministers building while a meeting was taking place there.

Vitaly Klitschko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleg Tyagnibok had hoped to meet with the ministers to ask them to reconsider their decision and sign the pact with the EU as originally planned.

Ukraine's signing of the trade deal was to take place at a two-day EU summit that begins Thursday in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius.

Yanukovych is still planning to attend the summit to discuss the possibility of three-way talks with Russia and the EU on Ukraine's economy.

EU leaders have accused Russia of exerting political and economic pressure on Ukraine to delay the signing of the political and trade agreement.  Russia denies doing so.

The Ukrainian government's decision last week not to sign the deal has sparked a wave of protests by pro-EU demonstrators.
 
Tens of thousands of pro-Europe demonstrators swarmed Kyiv last Sunday in one of the largest protests since the Orange Revolution nine years ago.

Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has started a hunger strike, hoping to force the Ukrainian government to sign the trade agreement.  

Part of the EU pact requires legislation freeing the former prime minister.  Tymoshenko, one of the leaders of the Orange Revolution, was jailed in 2011 and is serving a seven-year prison term on charges of abuse of office.  The EU has called her trial politically motivated.

  • Police stand guard in front of protesters during a demonstration in support of EU integration at Independence Square in Kyiv, Nov. 29, 2013.
  • Police stand guard in front of protesters during a demonstration in support of EU integration at Independence Square in Kyiv Nov. 29, 2013.
  • A view of a rally in support of integration with the European Union, as a supporter waves a European flag from a building top in Kyiv, Nov. 29, 2013.
  • Students form a human chain from the Ukrainian capital to the western border during a demonstration in support of EU integration at Independence Square in Kyiv, Nov. 29, 2013.
  • People warm themselves by a fire in a steel drum during a rally in support of Ukraine's integration with the European Union in Kyiv, Nov. 28, 2013.
  • Ukrainian Opposition Party protesters hold posters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in front of the Cabinet of Ministers in Kyiv, Nov. 27, 2013.
  • Vitali Klitschko, WBC heavyweight boxing champion and chairman of the Ukrainian opposition party Udar, raises his arms as he and another opposition leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, try to gain entry to the Cabinet of Ministers in Kyiv, Nov. 27, 2013.
  • People warm themselves at fires made in steel drums after a meeting to support EU integration at European Square in Kyiv, Nov. 26, 2013.
  • Protesters demand Ukraine sign a trade deal with the European Union, European Square, Kyiv, Nov. 26, 2013. (Henry Ridgwell for VOA)
  • Protesters wear gas masks during a demonstration to support EU integration in Kyiv, Nov. 25, 2013.
  • Protesters clash with riot police during a rally to support EU integration in Kyiv, Nov. 25, 2013.

You May Like

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

Why Europe and the US may be "whistling past the graveyard?" More

Egyptian Court Jails 23 Pro-Morsi Supporters

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say gunmen have killed two members of the country's security forces More

Pakistani Journalists Protest Shooting of Colleague

Hamid Mir, a host for private television channel Geo, was wounded after being shot three times Saturday, but is expected to survive More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid