Monday, 30 December 2013
Ukraine Opposition Calls For Mass Protest
KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's opposition has vowed to continue its protests in Kiev, expecting thousands of anti-government demonstrators to gather in Independence Square on Sunday. Vitaly Klitschko, the UDAR party leader, said on Saturday the next day's rally would "question the authority of the president, the prime minister and the chairman of the parliament". Anti-government activists are planning to drive a motorcade to the residences of the three leaders and deliver a list of demands, including a call for their resignation. The opposition held a similar "protest drive" on Saturday towards the house of the country's Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka when about 50 cars drove from central Kiev to the village of Gorenichi, about five kilometres outside the capital. Two days ago a protest was held outside the house of Ukraine's Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko. "Our revolution is not limited to just Independence Square. Criminals and executioners of the Ukrainian people must feel uncomfortable not only in their ministerial offices but at their homes as well. It concerns not only Yanukovich and his Mezhegorye residence, this concerns every state official who harms the country, and each of them should know that we will come to where he lives," said Oleksandr Briginets, an opposition MP and one of the organisers of the protest drive. Start of demonstrations President Viktor Yanukovych has faced more than a month of mass demonstrations across the country since he decided to ditch an EU deal - that would bring Ukraine closer to Europe - in favour of forging closer ties to Russia. The rallies were galvanised by a brutal police action to disperse the demonstrators on the capital's main square on November 30, and the number of protesters reached hundreds of thousands. Pro-EU demonstrators have been occupying central Kiev but their numbers have been falling since Russia offered Ukraine a $15bn bailout this month. The holiday season has also contributed to winding down the opposition movement.