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Protests Swell in Ukraine, Rioters Clash With Police

Topic: Pro-EU Protests Erupt in Ukraine

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Protesters in the Independence Square in central KievUkrainian riot policeUnidentified men break the door of the Kiev City Hall building
19:45 01/12/2013
Originally posted at 18:28, Updated throughout the day
Tags: protests, Kiev City Hall, EU, Kiev, Ukraine

KIEV, December 1 (RIA Novosti) –  Police and protesters engaged in running street battles Sunday in front of Ukraine’s presidential administration in the capital as anger grows at a government decision to pull back from signing a deal for closer relations with the EU.

Nearby in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, hundreds of thousands of people, many of them waving national flags, gathered in a separate peaceful demonstration on Independence Square.

Discontent at the reversal over the conclusion of a series of EU deals that had been due to be signed last week is increasingly escalating into calls for the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych.

Protests have been taking place for more than a week in Kiev, but took a sour turn Saturday morning when police violently cleared Independence Square, which served as the focal point of the Orange Revolution in the winter of 2004.

The violence continued for a second day running Sunday as a group of people attempted to storm the presidential administration building.

A group of protesters used a bulldozer to break through police cordons surrounding the presidential administration.

Opposition deputies arrived at the scene and appealed to people not to storm the building after protesters threw rocks at police, who responded by deploying tear gas and stun grenades.

Government opponent and businessman Petro Poroshenko said the people attempting to storm the presidential administration had nothing to do with the broader protest movement and called their actions a provocation.

The Interior Ministry said 100 officers had been injured in the clashes. Officials had said earlier in the day that two policemen were injured by the bulldozer. The city government said 22 protesters had sought treatment for injuries sustained during clashes.

Ukrainian and Russian TV channels reported that protesters had managed to enter the city administration building, and showed footage of activists sitting in the building’s main meeting hall.

Opposition politician Vitali Klitschko called on protesters to refrain from illegal activities.

“If anyone incites you to go and storm state institutions, it could be very dangerous. Don’t be fooled by provocateurs,” Klitschko said at the rally on Independence Square on Sunday.

Another group of young people broke into the trade union headquarters in the center of Kiev, the UNIAN news agency reported.

Protests began in Kiev and other Ukrainian cities after the country unexpectedly announced on November 21 that it was postponing preparations for the signing of agreements with the EU that it had been expected to sign at a summit that ended Friday.

Ukraine’s government said it would instead focus on strengthening its ties with its neighbor Russia, which had threatened Ukraine with stricter customs rules if it went ahead with the EU pact.

On Saturday, riot police violently dispersed the protest on Independence Square, eliciting condemnation from politicians and the public both inside and outside the former Soviet state.

The crackdown appears to have poured fuel on the flames of the protest movement.

Updates with number of injured police and protesters.

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RIA NovostiProtesters in the Independence Square in central KievProtests Swell in Ukraine, Rioters Clash With Police

19:45 01/12/2013 Police and protesters engaged in running street battles Sunday in front of Ukraine’s presidential administration in the capital as anger grows at a government decision to pull back from signing a deal for closer relations with the EU.>>

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  • arsanlupinOops! Didn't see that coming, did you Victor?
    23:28, 01/12/2013
    It would seem that President Yanukovych underestimated his citizens’ wishes to distance themselves from Russia. That was foolish of him. He should have held the referendum first, police it rigorously for honesty and transparency, and let the results speak for themselves. But nooooooo – he has to rule by fiat, and now he’s surprised at the reaction he gets??? That was even more foolish of him. At the rate he’s going, he’s going to get Orange Revolution, Part Deux – with or without Yulia Tymoshenko.
    • mobealeTo close to home
      06:54, 02/12/2013
      Putin wouldn't allow it. Can't have people back-talking the government so close to home.
      • tec123EU provocateurs.
        07:46, 02/12/2013
        Arsanlupin, you have lost creditability as a contributor here all your current comments look extremely one sided and lacks any encouragement for a lively discussion.
        What does the EU mean by another president may sign it (EU eyes Ukraine opposition as Kiev rejects trade deal) How the EU know so early on that there will be another Ukraine president in 2015?
        The EU main political candidate for 2015 she is still in prison, so there is only one forecast trouble is brewing come 2015. The EU wanted her out to use her as a silver bullet in the next election but it did not work, the West and EU cannot be ruler of the world and when they do not get their way try to over throw the government.
        Euro zone unemployment fell for the first time in three years in October to 12.1 percent, but youth unemployment hits another record-high, with nearly 6 million people between 18 and 25 with no work.
        A total of 19.3 million people across the euro area were jobless in October, with the unemployment rate going slightly down to 12.1 percent from September's 12.2 percent, the European Union statistics office said in preliminary data Friday.
        Unemployment for the 28-nation euro zone stands at 10.9 percent, unchanged from September, with 26.654 million people out of work.
        Is the EU a dreamboat for all or just a long term trap that poorer countries in the EU will have to pay thru their teeth for years to come?
        Maybe the long term dream of some Countries in Europe becoming and EU member with mass migration from poorer to richer countries in the EU, while leave their own country economically weaker and beggars of the richer ones. Ukraine made the right decision despite what other has to say including those Oligarchs who monetary gains are quite questionable giving the devious schemes that were cooked up after the Soviet Union broke up.
        The so called pro European Ukrainians with the majority coming from the West of Ukraine and makes up of more that 80% of young people who lack economics maturity and maybe suffering from egomaniacs. Have these people ask themselves what is the unemployment rate in their own country before adding more unemployment figures? Let’s forget the 40% in the EU they don’t mind adding to it because it’s all about geopolitics and pay back to Russia.

        Russia must make good on improvement ties all round in its relations with Ukraine and not lose this diplomatic victory. One should just listen to BBC to hear the spin and the narrative portrayed; speak of freedom of the press.
        The Ukraine President has one thing to think of the elections too be held in 2015 and knowing the EU observers who are fiercely loyal to any anti-Russian politicians remember Saakashvili and Yushchenko? The flip side of this is that these same observers are fiercely strict to pro- Russian political candidates, these observers can do no wrong in the eyes of the EU they are send from heaven.
        The EU is so upset and angry and un-shamed of the comments they are making of a sovereign decision by a democratically elected president they do not care if it is insulting or can cause public disturbances in I wonder if the EU will not mind supporting this type of political unrest?
        Speaking of the EU I travel to Frankfurt on my way to New York recently so I decided to by a bottle of water small one it cost 5 Euros, ask the pretty young lady what this water has in it that is so expensive? Answered was EU standards. Sadly she did not say what those standards were!
        • R.Deus-von HomeyerRE:LOVE ALL,SERVE ALL!
          22:52, 02/12/2013
          Why Ukraina should want to embrace the EU countries and distance it from Russia?

          If you CLEVER,you Ukrainians will do deals with EVERY country on this Planet as long as you have some advantages! Do you think the Germans are not doing business with the Russians? Here,in West Berlin,they used to hate the Russians ,but not anymore...since they are heating WHOLE Berlin with gas&oil from Russia. Recently also Russian goods are to buy in the supermarkets...I just bought Russian kilka and other sort fish. The shelves are full with Russian vodka.
          So...I do not believe Ukraina will have some benefitts by entering the EU. Remember ...as my countrymen,the Bulgarians,you must contibute every year PLENTY of $$$$$$$$ to Brussels. The Bulgarians are crying now,that the millions they are paying to Brussels,could be used to pay higher salaries and pensions to the old people and MORE social benefits.
        • bielecThat's what you get...
          00:58, 02/12/2013
          ...when you allow corporations to control your education system and NGO's to control your democracy. To arsedupin: You must be either corrupted or stup*d to pretend that you don't see the direction in which all new EU countries are heading. They are going down! Just look at the anti-austerity demonstrations in Western capitals. Of course, Ukrainians don't know it, because their media is also controlled by corporate sponsors, courtesy of Color Revolution, Part One.
          • rationalamerican...when you try to totally betray your constituents
            08:44, 02/12/2013
            The repetition of conspiracy theories with blatant bias and hatred towards anything "western" garner you no sympathy. And you will certainly not gain any respect when you resort to pathetic childish name calling.

            Those that claim to know everything often know nothing. There are many possibilities in regard to the direction the EU could take and only time will tell if they are correct. That said, most of the theories I've heard in this often toxic comment section that I am endeavoring to clean up with intelligent and rational conversation, I would rate these theories in the range of .2%-3% probability of occurring.
            • R.Deus-von HomeyerRE:AUSTERITY in Western Europe
              22:57, 02/12/2013
              Bielec,the austerity is for the SMALL people NOT for higher civil cervants! Merkel is cuting on social benefits;the Government is taxing also the pensions...taxes,taxes,taxes for everything! Probably soon we will pay taxes for the AIR,which we breathe.

              YES,the YOUNG Ukraininas are thinking about the BIG money people in the West are making! WHAT A MYTH! Mosrt Germans do not own the apartments,where they live...they are paying RENT until they die.
              • bielecTo rational american:
                23:07, 02/12/2013
                Your opinion is full of unproven theories, maybe this or maybe that. I think you are trying to water down any criticism of NATO's neo-colonial policies and American (rational and criminal) wars of conquest and revolutions for regime change that include the use of terrorism to achieve political goals. Ukraine is not the only example, it is one of many that confirms a much wider pattern. In this context, "If it looks like a duck, and it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, then it is a duck."

                I look at it from a perspective of over 60 years of practical experience in politics. Probably this is why my shortcuts are so difficult for you to comprehend.

                In the meantime, I suggest that you (the Americans) stop meddling in other nations' internal affairs and start taking care of your own problems at home. Similar demonstrations were dispersed by riot police in American cities and other western capitals, even recently. So, maybe you should look in the mirror before you start lecturing others.
                Reply | Comments: 1Expand branch
              • stpetersburgThe CIS 11 and EU28 Eurasian Union
                02:02, 02/12/2013
                If Russia make a deal for more free trade and Energy co-operation with the 28 EU similiar to the protestors in Kiev but only under the 11 member CIS would that be a compromise ?

                Does the EU really want free and air trade from Ukraine as a floof of imports would reduce farm prices and possibly collapse one of the main pillars of the CAP if they agreed and same applies if the EU is successful in trade deals with Mercosur and USA the fall of the Economic and farm products curtain in EU
              • SchulerFUkrainian delusions & EU hysteria
                03:37, 02/12/2013
                About 45% support EU direction after 2 years of non-stop propaganda and advertising on TV, radio, and street posters about EU. It's not a natural number but one effected by two years of constant PR campaign.
                President Yanukovitch and the Party of Regions (the most popular party in Ukraine) cares about Ukraine and realizes that losing Russian market for Ukrainian industry will be the final death blow to Ukraine's failing industry and state.
                After living off cheap Russian gas for the first 15-16 years of its "independence", Ukraine is finding out that it cannot afford market prices for gas. There are over 3.5 million Ukrainian citizens working in Russia - 1 million of them illegal migrants - and they bring billions of dollars to Ukraine each year. Russian banks bailed out Ukrainian banks during 2008-2010 crisis. For 20 years Russia has helped carry the economic, financial, and social burden of Ukraine's independence. All EU has to do is 1. open its market to Ukrainian goods that today are sold to Russia - but it doesn't. 2. Open its borders to Ukraine's workers that go to Russia - but it doesn't. 3. Subsidize Ukraine's gas prices like Russia did for 15-16 years - but it doesn't. 4. Give Ukraine yearly loans of several billion of euros - but it doesn't.
                The provocateurs and the extreme nationalists are doing a great disservice to Ukraine and pushing towards being a failed state.

                Over 3.5 million Ukrainians work in Russia - over 1 million of them illegal migrants - and they bring in billions of dollars each year to Ukraine http://www.rbc.ru/rbcfreenews/20131127215730.shtml

                But EU does not want to open its visa regime to Ukraine - no visa-free regime. Some Ukrainians - only some- think that EU will give them salaries, pensions, let them all go to EU and work there. But this is not at all offered. Many EU states don't even want Romanians and Bulgarians to come to their countries, and these poor states are EU members! Ukraine is not even offered membership, or easy loans, or energy subsidies. It's only offered a candy wrapper and some vague "association" at the price of real losses. This is not a sober choice.
                As for EU, they hate losing to Russia and they hat admitting that their deal stinks - so they go the stereotypical route and blame Russia. Who are they? Descendants of Napoleon and Hitler. Their 1938 Munich did not work. So they will be ready to ruin Ukraine.
                • jane82sides
                  01:13, 03/12/2013
                  there are two colors, black and white, everything else is in between. there are two stories, true and false. there are two sides, their and our. all those sad people who are protesting are victims of mass manipulation, but they will eventually pay the price.
                  • Mikhail1228Good post!
                    01:47, 03/12/2013
                    Dear SchulerF, this is a very good post. Yes, it is very sad that extreme nationalists are doing a great disservice to Ukraine. My people are Kuban Cossacks and we first set foot in the Kuban in the 18th century. My people had a choice to embrace as part of a massive motherland or to go with some little state that is still torn apart by the east-west divide and is now being used as a clash of spheres of influence battleground between Russia and the West. While people in the Kuban look forward to the Sochi Olympics, extreme nationalists in Ukraine seek anarchy and violence with their elected government. Gospodi Pomelui+
                  • Mikhail1228It's just mindless!!
                    23:38, 02/12/2013
                    Young Ukrainian protesters have no clue what they are protesting about. Most believe that Ukraine was entering the EU as a full member and the government stopped it. The EU was NOT offering full membership to Ukraine. The EU wanted to open markets with Ukraine and to be able to use their land as a precursor to full EU membership. The EU needs to send garbage (refuse) and to bury dangerous industrial materials in landfills built on Ukraine’s soil. These protesting young Ukrainians are under the false impression that had this deal gone through they would have had their educations paid for by the EU and that the EU countries of Western Europe would welcome them with open arms. A big NOT to both!! As anyone whom reads knows, the EU countries are angry with migrants. It doesn’t matter where the migrants come from they don’t want them anymore. People in France, Italy and Spain don’t want migrant Ukrainians roaming their streets looking for jobs and benefits. The streets of Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Greece are flooded with young people protesting austerity and being in the EU.

                    What these young protesters don’t know is that opening up the Ukrainian market to the EU will have a devastating effect on Ukrainian business and producers. Ukrainian products cannot compete with Western commodities. Ukrainian consumers will immediately start purchasing better quality EU products. The Ukrainian consumers will be overjoyed with their purchases. The Ukrainian consumers will leave many Ukrainian businesses with financial insecurity and, eventually in shutdown, economic collapse and total ruin. Then these Ukrainian consumers buying EU goods will lose their jobs and won’t be able to afford anything. Ukraine will be in the same economic condition as Greece. Last Tuesday’s Drudge Report had a story about Greeks inflicting themselves with HIV/AIDS to get more benefits due to the economy.

                    These young protesters are being fed lies. President Putin said, “This internal political process is an attempt by the opposition to destabilize the existing legitimate rule in the country.”

                    When Ukraine is in the same condition as Greece will the US help them economically? Of course not. Western Europe needs a garbage dump and needs Ukrainian land and resources. The EU can’t afford to put young Ukrainians through school and doesn’t want any more foreign migrants leaching off of them. Seventy percent of people in the EU are fed up with austerity and want out of the EU.

                    And these young protesting boneheads want in!!
                  • bielecReally good comments
                    18:18, 03/12/2013
                    You guys are absolutely right. One only needs to look at Poland.

                    As a Soviet sattelite, it used to be a country with limited sovereignty but its economy was owned by Poles. It was a public property. After the "reforms" implemented by EU and Western advisors, Poland has lost its sovereignty and became a minor district of EU. No independent foreign policy, no independent economy, no idependent fiscal or monetary policies, no tarrifs or customs, no protection of own industy and agriculture, no social safety networks, no free education, no good or efficient health care.

                    Polish best industries were bought and allowed to bancrupt - to eliminate competition for Western producers. There are foreign banks on nearly every street and every corner in Polish cities. They lend money but the interest (profits) go abroad. Polish markets are flooded with second rate Western products and cheap Chinese goods imported by Western investors. Many Poles lost their jobs and live in poverty.

                    For a while, the West has pumped some money to buy public support for all these changes. NGO's and foreign foundations grew like mushrooms after a rain. Polish media is owned and run by foreign corporations and their stooges. Manipulation and propaganda are damning down the nation. People are being pitched against each other, divided, and made weak.

                    Now, the good times are ending and Poles are being squeezed like lemons. And it's only the beginning.

                    Neo-colonial policies of the EU have one goal: exploitation of weaker countries, exploitation of their resources, labor, and markets. Economic conquest, not economic support and equality. Just look around and you will see it yourselves.

                    It really is sad that young Ukrainians are not aware of the real face and goals of EU. Being so isolated and being fed propaganda, they have big aspirations. They want to improve their standard of living, make more money, drive good cars. It's a dream and it's a myth. It is not true, it will never happen. The only way to achieve a better life is to work and to build your country, not to sell it to foreign bankers and crooks.
                  • arsanlupinWOW! I never knew that manure could be piled so high!
                    20:54, 03/12/2013
                    All of this trash-talk regarding the European Union is arrant nonsense; ridiculously wild falsehoods that insult the intelligence of anyone both capable of rational thinking and free of hallucinogens. It’s a foregone conclusion that a life in politics rots your brains, as Bilous is showing with breathtaking lunacy.

                    The European Union has no restrictions on foreign policy, and it’s only restriction on fiscal policy is conditioned on aid – IF a country borrows money from the EU, THEN and only THEN are restrictions made – and the sole restriction is basically to “stop spending money you don’t have”! ALL countries have benefitted from membership in the EU – especially the former Warsaw Pact nations and the Baltic states. Improvements in education, healthcare, and infrastructure, and a gradual cleanup of the toxic waste dump that the Soviet Union has transformed vast stretches of land into are only the beginning. Greater transparency in political and economic activity, and reduction of corruption also result. Calling EU members “slaves” or “vassal states” is nothing more than the flatulence of conspiracy theorists.

                    Blaming the unrest on “militant factions” is nothing more than the fear-mongering that Putin is so fond of – mainly because he has reason to fear the same within Russia. He’s afraid of losing the biggest meal ticket in the world – one that has made him the wealthiest head of state on the planet at $40 BILLION dollars! The problem in Ukraine is the same as it is in Russia – an entrenched network of corruption so pandemic it’s distorting both economies. EU membership will cause the demise of such rampant thievery.

                    So none of you can continue to spew your ludicrous lies about the European Union or the United States, because it is the PEOPLE of Ukraine who are demanding something from their government. And it isn’t just a few students, but people from all ages and jobs and lifestyles in cities all across Ukraine. They're sick and tired of Russia trying to control them - as they have been doing with varying degrees of success for centuries.

                    Last but not least, Ukraine wants to join the list of former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact countries that are fed up with Russia’s bullying them.
                    • Mikhail1228RE: Opinions
                      01:04, 04/12/2013
                      Adrian, opinions are like assholes, everyone has one!
                      Reply | Comments: 5Expand branch
                    • Mikhail1228NATO member Turkey pleading with SCO!
                      01:32, 05/12/2013
                      If the EU is so great, why does Turkey a NATO nation now desire to be in the SCO?


                      http://thediplomat.com/2013/12/turkey-renews-plea-to-join-shanghai-cooperation-organization/

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