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Opposition ‘Committee To Protect Ukraine’ Launched

Dmytro Pavlychko is the new committee's coordinator.

Dmytro Pavlychko is the new committee's coordinator.

KYIV -- The Ukrainian opposition has announced the creation of an opposition movement, the Committee to Protect Ukraine, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

The committee is made up of opposition parties represented in parliament: Fatherland, the Reforms and Order party, the People's Movement, the People's Self-Defense party, and the right-wing Liberty Party, which is not in parliament.

Well-known Ukrainian writer Dmytro Pavlychko was elected by committee members as the coordinator of the new committee.

Pavlychko announced that the committee's major goals are "to protect Ukraine's integrity and sovereignty, resist any attempts to establish foreign control over Ukraine's strategic facilities, and fight for the preservation of Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic choice."

The committee plans to gather thousands of protesters near the parliament building on May 11 to demand the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych.

Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said today the opposition will hold another protest on May 17 unless Premier Mykola Azarov gives a detailed report in parliament about the government's plans on economic agreements with Russia.

Several important economic agreements are scheduled to be signed between Ukraine and Russia during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's official visit to Kyiv the same day.

The opposition is accusing Yanukovych of planning to put key Ukrainian economic sectors under Russian control.