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On Maidan Anniversary US Demands Russia Honor Minsk Agreements

  • VOA News

People attend a commemoration ceremony at the monument of the so-called "Nebesna Sotnya" (Heavenly Hundred), the anti-government protesters killed during the Ukrainian pro-European Union (EU) mass protests in 2014, during a rally marking the third anniver

As Ukrainians mark the third anniversary of the Maidan uprising that toppled former president Viktor Yanukovich, the U.S. is demanding that Russia honor the Minsk agreements, intended to end the violence in eastern Ukraine.

Speaking to leaders gathered at Munich Security Conference, Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday “the United States will continue to hold Russia accountable, even as we search for new common ground, which as you know President Trump believes can be found."

FILE - German Chancellor Angela Merkel and United States Vice President Mike Pence arrive at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Feb. 18, 2017.
FILE - German Chancellor Angela Merkel and United States Vice President Mike Pence arrive at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Feb. 18, 2017.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later told reporters that after a meeting with his counterparts from France, Germany and Ukraine, the four countries had agreed to try to implement a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine starting Monday, alongside the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line.

Fighting that started almost three years ago, after the Maidan uprising, has escalated again in recent weeks, threatening to sink the 2015 Minsk accords that aimed to secure a cease-fire and more autonomy for rebel-held regions of eastern Ukraine.

FILE - Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov make an official statement on the signing of the cease-fire agreement in Minsk, on Sept. 5, 2014.
FILE - Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov make an official statement on the signing of the cease-fire agreement in Minsk, on Sept. 5, 2014.


Public protests erupted in Kyiv in November 2013 following the Ukrainian government's decision to suspend preparations for an association treaty with the European Union (EU) and to seek closer economic relations with Russia.

The protests, which soon escalated into a violent nationwide movement against the authorities, lasted for months and came to a head in mid-February 2014.

FILE - A man looks at pictures of victims of the Maidan Square protests placed in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 17, 2015.
FILE - A man looks at pictures of victims of the Maidan Square protests placed in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 17, 2015.

More than 100 people were killed and hundreds of others wounded in unprecedented clashes in Kyiv between February 18 and 20, 2014.

Saturday and Sunday, people waved Ukrainian flags and laid wreaths to pay respect to those who were gunned down during the uprising.

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