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1 December, 2013 22:57   ▪  

The Wall Street Journal: Hundreds of Thousands of Ukrainians Rally in Kiev

Protesters Call for President's Ouster After Violent Dispersal of Demonstration, The Wall Street Journal reports

“Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Kiev, calling for the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych for his decision to suspend signing a far-reaching accord with the European Union and instead improve ties with Russia,” James Marson and Katya Gorchinskaya report in their article for The Wall Street Journal.

The protests were by far the largest since the Orange Revolution nine years ago that swept a pro-western government into power. The demonstrations posed the most serious challenge yet to the rule of Mr. Yanukovych, who came to office in 2010 vowing to improve ties with Moscow but more recently had adopted a more pro-Western line. The planned EU agreement, years in the making, was aimed at setting this former Soviet Republic of some 46 million on a firmly Western path.

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians angered by Mr. Yanukovych's sudden reversal on the EU deal and a violent police crackdown on protesters early Saturday streamed into Independence Square in Kiev's center on Sunday, carrying scarves, ribbons and flags in yellow and blue, Ukraine's national colors, and chanting, "Get the thugs out."

Outside the presidential building nearby, masked men whom the opposition called provocateurs not affiliated with its cause attacked a line of riot police using a front-end loader and stones before being pushed back by smoke grenades and a baton charge. The rally on Independence Square remained largely peaceful.

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