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

    South Sudan Sends First Ever Official Olympic Team to Rio

    VOA caught up with Santino Kenyi, 16, one of three athletes who will compete in this year's summer games in Brazil

    Arrest of Malawi's 'Hyena' Man Highlights Clash of Ritual, Health and Women's Rights

    Ritual practice of deflowering young girls is blamed for spreading deadly AIDS virus

    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    VOA finds things Americans take for granted are special to foreigners

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora