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

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs