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Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's former prime minister whose government was dismissed last week, called on Tuesday for the country's democratic forces to unite against the new Ukrainian authorities.
"We have gathered to join all our forces, to unite all volunteers, all political parties and movements, public movements, who are able to perceive today what a threat Ukraine faces," the former prime minister said, addressing thousands of her supporters in a square in central Kiev.
Ukrainian police estimated that some 7,000 people came to the rally, which took place on the 196th anniversary of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko's birthday.
Tymoshenko said people should unite "to defend Ukraine."
Tymoshenko lost the February 7 presidential runoff to Viktor Yanukovych, who was sworn in as president on February 25.
On March 3, following a collapse of the majority coalition led by Tymoshenko, the country's parliament voted to oust her government, improving the chances of Yanukovych's Party of Regions to form a new parliamentary majority he needs to push through his policies.
Tymoshenko then announced that her party, the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, would move into the opposition without waiting for the formation of a new majority coalition.
KIEV, March 9 (RIA Novosti)
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.