News / Europe

Ukraine Protests Continue As Russia Denies Anti-EU Pressure

Ukraine Protests Continue As Russia Denies Anti-EU Pressurei
X
November 27, 2013 3:48 AM
Around 3,000 protestors gathered in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv Tuesday night to demand that the government sign a landmark trade agreement with the European Union. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from Kyiv.
Ukraine Protests Continue As Russia Denies Anti-EU Pressure
Henry Ridgwell
Thousands of protesters gathered in the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv for a third successive night Tuesday to demand that the government sign a landmark trade agreement with the European Union. Demonstrations were also held in other Ukrainian cities. Ukraine took Europe by surprise last week when it announced it was pulling out of the deal in favor of strengthening ties with Russia.

A succession of opposition speakers fired up the crowd gathered in Kyiv’s European Square Tuesday.
 
Among them was Yuriy Lutsenko, former Minister of Internal Affairs.
 
He said their plan is very simple - they require President Viktor Yanukovich to sign the EU agreement. And if he does not, says Lutsenko, they will block Parliament and force early elections to bring someone else to power.
 
Also backing the protests was former heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko - leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform party.
 
The blue and gold flag of the European Union has replaced the Orange flags of 2004. (Henry Ridgwell/for VOA)The blue and gold flag of the European Union has replaced the Orange flags of 2004. (Henry Ridgwell/for VOA)
x
The blue and gold flag of the European Union has replaced the Orange flags of 2004. (Henry Ridgwell/for VOA)
The blue and gold flag of the European Union has replaced the Orange flags of 2004. (Henry Ridgwell/for VOA)
“I’m an optimist. And I hope that Ukrainians will want to show their will and wish to live in a European country with European standards of life. For that, we need reform. For that, we need to sign an accession agreement in Vilnius,” said Klitschko.
 
Thousands of students boosted crowd numbers at another protest in Independence Square - ground zero for Ukraine's 2004’s Orange Revolution. Among them was Vitaly Sichinskiy.
 
“I want my children to grow up in a European country, with European rules and standard of life,” said Sichinskiy.
 
Coal miner Alexei Androsky, from the east of Ukraine (Henry Ridgwell/for VOA)Coal miner Alexei Androsky, from the east of Ukraine (Henry Ridgwell/for VOA)
x
Coal miner Alexei Androsky, from the east of Ukraine (Henry Ridgwell/for VOA)
Coal miner Alexei Androsky, from the east of Ukraine (Henry Ridgwell/for VOA)
Alexei Androsky and his friends travelled to the Kyiv protests from the traditionally pro-Russian coal mining areas in the east.
 
“For 73 years we were under Soviet rule,” he said. “Then for 20 years we lived together with Russia. Right now we need 20 years to see how it is in the European Union, to allow us to decide,” said Androsky.
 
Responding to the protests Tuesday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said Russia had asked Ukraine to delay signing the EU deal.

Azarov said that Ukraine absolutely does not want to be a battlefield between the EU and Russia, a field of confrontation, and that it wants to have good relations with both the EU and Russia and to be able to develop through this.
 
Protestors also gathered in Independence Square, ground zero of the 2004 Orange Revolution. (Henry Ridgwell/for VOA)Protestors also gathered in Independence Square, ground zero of the 2004 Orange Revolution. (Henry Ridgwell/for VOA)
x
Protestors also gathered in Independence Square, ground zero of the 2004 Orange Revolution. (Henry Ridgwell/for VOA)
Protestors also gathered in Independence Square, ground zero of the 2004 Orange Revolution. (Henry Ridgwell/for VOA)
Azarov added that President Yanukovych will attend this week's EU summit in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius.
 
On a visit to Italy Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said a Ukraine-EU trade deal would harm Russia’s economy.  But he denied European claims that he had pressured Kyiv into pulling out.
 
Putin said the decision with whom to sign an agreement for free trade is the sovereign right of Ukraine. And, he added, Russia will accept this decision whatever it may be.
 
The protestors vow not to leave Independence Square until Ukraine signs the agreement with the European Union.
 
Nine years after the Orange Revolution, the protest colors have changed to the blue and gold of the EU flag. But Ukraine has yet to decide if its future lies to the East or the West.

Check out our Storify snapshots from Sunday's protests:

You May Like

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Arkan from: Ukraine
November 27, 2013 4:37 PM
this is growing to unprecedented dimensions... this is not going away... this is a war... Russia will never subjugate Ukraine ever again!!! the world has forgotten how Russia starved to death millions and millions of Ukrainians ... we know what a depravity Russia is. and this time we stand against Russia. if it is a war - than let it be... we would like to have wished a friend in the US - but the US is ruled by an idiot...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs