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Live Blog: Ukraine Rallies Continue

Pro-government and antigovernment demonstrators are holding competing rallies in Kyiv today.

December 15, 2013

Massive Crowds Attend Opposition Rally In Kyivi
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December 15, 2013
Huge crowds gathered on Kyiv's Independence Square today as the antigovernment, pro-European protests known as "Euromaidan" entered their third week. RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reported that between 150,000 and 200,000 protesters were attending the rally. Ukrainian opposition leaders and U.S. Senator John McCain were among the speakers addressing the demonstration. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)

Massive Crowds Attend Opposition Rally In Kyiv


Posts order:
19:56
December 15, 2013
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Wrapup:

-- For the third Sunday in a row, the opposition held a massive rally on Kyiv's Independence Square (the Maidan), which protesters have occupied since December 1. Some 200,000 people attended. 

---- The government also organized an "anti-Maidan" rally for supporters of President Viktor Yanukovych and the current government. An estimated 15,000 people gathered -- many of them bused in from eastern regions. 

-- EU Commissionar for Enlargement Stefan Fule has said negotiations with Ukraine have been put on hold. He said the Ukrainian government's arguments "have no grounds in reality." A spokesman for Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, however, said Ukraine would continue holding talks on the EU deal. 

-- U.S. Senator John McCain spoke to protesters on Independence Square, promising "The free world is with you, America is with you, and I am with you."  

-- Glenn Kates
19:29
December 15, 2013
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Some have voiced concern that McCain's speech on Independence Square will give ammo to those -- particularly among Russian media -- who talk of a nefarious "western hand" in the Ukrainian protest movement.

Below, "The New York Times" Moscow correspondent, reporting from Kyiv. 

18:23
December 15, 2013
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McCain appearing today on CNN. 

On Russian President Vladimir Putin, McCain says, "This was the beginning of Russia, was right here in Kyiv, so Putin views it as the most highly important and he has put pressure on Ukrainians -- the price of energy, different kinds of activities, and the word is very clear that he has made various threats. Whether he would carry those through or not I don't know."

18:13
December 15, 2013
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RFE/RL spoke by telephone to Peter Stano, the spokesman for Fuele. 

Stano said "there is more and more discrepancy or there is a growing gap between the deeds and words of the Ukrainian President." 

"[Stefan Fuele] told [Ukrainian] Deputy Prime Minister [Serhiy] Arbuzov when he was in Brussels last Thursday and (December 12) and also in their subsequent conversations later that the continuation of our work is conditioned with clear commitment of Ukraine to sign the Association Agreement. Since there was no response to this [from Ukraine] the work and the discussions are being put on hold."


Earlier today, Fuele tweeted that negotations with Ukraine for an Association Agreement were being put on hold.
17:59
December 15, 2013
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17:31
December 15, 2013
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A Ukrainian journalist says she found this paper instructing on slogans for the pro-government rally. 
Here they are:

1) Yanukovych - President!
2) Fascism - won't happen!
3) Hands off Ukraine!
4) Crimea for Stability! Crimea for the President!
5) Ukraine is not Maidan!
6) No to the Orange Coup!

 
17:15
December 15, 2013
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Via our Ukrainian Serivce:

Earlier today, the opposition created a resolution on Independence Square that "strongly warns and prohibibits" the president from signing a Customs Union agreement with Russia.  

Yanukovych is scheduled to hold talks in Moscow on December 17 with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
16:43
December 15, 2013
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Our Ukrainian Service has been providing live feeds from the pro-government and antigovernment rallies today. Here are some quotes from demonstrators at the pro-government rally: 

A woman from Luhansk, in Ukraine's east, speaking in Russian:

"I came here to support my president, Viktor Yanukovych. I'm from Luhansk. Luhansk has always supported and will support Yanukovych. Although the orange ones want to have it their way -- [the region of] Donbass will never let them. Donetsk, Luhansk -- we [all from there] have supported Yanukovych and will continue supporting Yanukovych."

A man, speaking in Russian: 

"Just like our president has said -- I want Ukraine to join Europe but not on its knees as Klitschko and all those around him want. I wish Ukraine to join Europe standing tall -- just like Ukraine can."
16:23
December 15, 2013
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Some 200,000 protesters today. 

16:03
December 15, 2013
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Interfax reports that Vitali Lukyanenko, spokesman for Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, says Kyiv intends to continue talks with the EU on an Association Agreement despite the rebuke from Fuele. 

"The Ukrainian government intends to continue talks with the EU on the implementation of the Association Agreement and is working in this direction," he told Interfax.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: gary from: kiev
December 15, 2013 12:11
If Yanukovych stays in Moscow will he be missed?
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
December 16, 2013 02:44
Question is microscopic, Gary, he is only one of 70 millions.
Right question is - Is he representing genuine and all Ukraine?
There are few of paid by Russia statements above, mocking
Ukraine, for Russian influx - "Golodomor" masters talking.
____________________________________________
During WW2 - Ukrainians and their industries went East,
Making weapons and still keeping fight against invaders.
In 1947, Stalin under house arrest, Russia reversed CIS,
Millions Ukrainians bonded slaves of Russian enslavers.
_____________________________________________
Russia in-fluxed even more into industrial Ukrainian parts
And never left. Before decide who is who return its people
And let Russians that hate Ukrainians go to Russia - gloat.
The normal and legitimate Russians, are Ukraine Citizens.
______________________________________________
Ethnic Russians and most Ukrainians - for Independence.
Ethnic Russian imperial Nazis - would enslave Ukrainians.
Most of Ukrainians protesting - not for a German annexing.
Normal Russians - do quietly ignore Russia imperial Nazis.
_____________________________________________
UKRAINE HAS RIGHT "STAY TALL" AND FREE, FULE.
IS PUTIN-MILLER-FULE DIVISION ON EUROPEANS?
LIKE VARAGA-KATERINA-PRUSSAKA BLOODY FE?
EU ASSOSSOATION MEMBER, UNDER GERMANS?
EURO-ASIA ASSOSIATION, EATEN BY RUSSIANS?
___________________________________________
We grateful to John McCain, for helping save Georgia.
We grateful to John McCain, for helping save Ukraine.
But he has to be careful with Russia-Prussia Borgios.
Before signing anything, read fine print - whole thing.
_____________________________________-____
USA freedom is also at stake. If Ukraine and CIS fall,
Be divided by Russia and Germany-Austria, you too,
Already being energy-economy dragged into a hole,
By the very imperial designs loose to tyranny of few.
________________________________________
Even British weaken control over them by Fule-EU,
Not withstanding excitement of Russia Imperio-rise.
Even NATO is not sure as balance of powers goes,
Although pro-Germans might please USA Nazi guys.




by: Bill Webb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
December 15, 2013 13:17
I have nothing but praise for the Ukrainian people and the police for their restraint and good nature, a wonderful display for the world to see, this is how people should treat each other. Bravo!

by: misha from: USA
December 15, 2013 16:10
McCain and Nuland are a disgrace. Not only is Yanukovich a democratically elected president of a democratic nation - what democracy does McCain want to restore? American fascism? - but in any republic the president has the authority to make the decisions as to what is best for his country. That is inherent in a democratic republic. When did Bush listen to the millions of protesters against the war on Iraq? Why didn't Bush listen to what the people wanted and where was McCain talking and supporting the protesters?

American hypocrisy isn't democracy.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
December 16, 2013 02:57
Are you same Misha that participated in murdering my mother,
7/7/2012 in USA, using Russia-CIA, for 2008 saving Georgia?
I did asked McCain and UN for help, or your masters-"hozers"
Would repopulate it by Russia. Now trying you it on Ukraine?
McCain simply give some moral support to holt Russian hate,
As he helped in Georgia - not necessary give Ukraine to Fule.

by: mishar from: usa
December 15, 2013 16:15
John McCain is the modern day pirate. He has Absolutely No Respect of International Law and Sovereignty of countries. One cannot reason with a thug like that. Sovereign countries should prevent a war criminal like him from entering their country, and if he did they should arrest him and charge him with war crimes against humanity. This man is total maniac, and the older he gets, the worse he becomes.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
December 16, 2013 03:06
The same Misha above, turn Mishar? Is it your deadly arr-arr?
Misleading some Caucasian "oboroten's"? Or Ruissian Czar?
Why hate so McCain? Did not grab houses in annexed land?
Didn't get enough in 2008 - stretching to Ukraine your hand?

by: Mamuka
December 15, 2013 19:13
Hey where's that picture of the heart-shaped sign saying "Ukrainki chekayut tebe?" An innovative approach toward gaining support for euromaidan

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
December 16, 2013 19:42
An interesting VIDEO from the NYT revealing real reasons why people keep coming to Maidan: Feeding the Protest in Ukraine - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6xhakPeVd4
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
December 18, 2013 13:11
Look at the cunningly happy Lavrov's face on RFE!
Is Putin saying Ukraine, robbed by Russia, bankrupt?
Ukraine, A LARGER industrial and agricultural supplier,
Since Russian Empire invaded and through USSR times,
Also sent all industries to the East during WW2 and fought.
_______________________________________________
After WW2 Russia stole all the industries and its specialists
And enslaved them in Russia. As Ukraine built new industry,
On its own blood - Russia in-fluxed Ukraine with Russians
And robbed it well - Russia in debt to Ukraine and others,
To CIS! They create artificially debt illusion, as in USSR.
____________________________________________
Russians in-flux in Eastern Ukraine also burn much gas,
Refuse to pay to Ukraine, refuse to use Donbas powder,
Left over of coal, while force Ukraine be for Russia serfs.
Whom is Yanukovich and other Russian Bolsheviks fool?
To reinstall even larger, even more evil Russian Empire?
_____________________________________________
EU, Germany lead - shouldn't push Ukraine be absorbed.
Russia is debtor to CIS nations, like Georgia and Ukraine,
Shouldn't lie Russia giving money from one's they robbed.
Is Lavrov applying - slave to Germany or Russian keens?
Squeezing on Ukraine independence, Bolshevik garrote?
______________________________________________
Arrogance sealing the "Deal" in green of Lavrov-Eugenio...
Robbed nations silenced by plot of Russian Neanderthals...
Stand tall and free CIS nations - it is Russian Eugenics...
UKRAINE CAN TRADE WITH BOTH, EAST AND WEST
BE SUBSTANTIALLY PART OF EUROPE, NOT SERFS.


by: freeUA from: Kiev
December 18, 2013 18:06
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