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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid