News / Europe

Ukrainian Opposition Protests Tymoshenko Trial on Independence Day

Ukrainian riot police officers block opposition activists as they rallied to mark the 20th anniversary of Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union and protest the arrest of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko in Kiev, Ukraine, August 24, 2011
Ukrainian riot police officers block opposition activists as they rallied to mark the 20th anniversary of Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union and protest the arrest of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko in Kiev, Ukraine, August 24, 2011

Thousands of Ukrainian opposition activists have rallied in the capital, Kyiv, to protest the arrest and jailing of their leader, former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, as the country marks its 20th anniversary of independence from the Soviet Union.

The activists gathered Wednesday near a monument to national poet Taras Shevchenko in central Kyiv and tried to march through the city, but police blocked their path.  The protesters denounced Tymoshenko's arrest earlier this month on charges of contempt of court.  She is on trial for alleged abuse of office when she signed a gas deal with Russia in 2009 while serving as prime minister.

A Ukrainian court had banned opposition groups from holding rallies in most of the capital on the independence anniversary.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych attended ceremonies in Kyiv to mark the occasion, but the festivities were low-key as the government tries to cut back on spending to reduce its budget deficit.

Speaking ahead of the anniversary, Yanukovych said he expects to complete negotiations with the European Union on a political association agreement and a free trade deal by the end of this year.  He said Ukraine has made an "irreversible" choice to adopt what he called the European social model, while maintaining historic ties with Russia, which provides crucial supplies of natural gas.

Yanukovych defeated Tymoshenko in a close presidential election last year.  Tymoshenko says her trial is part of a political vendetta against her by the president.  A conviction would make her ineligible to run for office in parliamentary elections next year and the next presidential contest in 2015.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid