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Ukraine: Kyiv TV Shut Down During Demonstrations

Kyiv, 16 September 2002 (RFE/RL) -- In Kyiv, thousands of demonstrators are converging on the center of the capital to demand that President Leonid Kuchma resign or call an early election. The downtown rally violates a court decision banning demonstrations in the city center.

Television stations in Kyiv have resumed broadcasting after being shut down during the morning. Kyiv's television stations were cut off during what authorities said was a prescheduled routine maintenance check. But residents said such checks are usually performed one station at a time, and that the simultaneous station blackout was unprecedented.

Today's opposition rallies drew at least 15,000 protestors -- including members of the Socialist and communist parties and supporters of former Deputy Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko.

The demonstrations mark the second anniversary of the disappearance of investigative journalist Heorhiy Gongadze. Kuchma has strongly denied allegations he was somehow involved in Gongadze's abduction and murder in 2000.