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Anti-Medvedev Protest Prevented In Kyiv

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks at Taras Shevchenko National University in Kyiv today.
KYIV -- Kyiv police prevented a protest today against visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a university in the Ukrainian capital, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

About 20 activists of the nationalist group Svoboda (Liberty) planned to gather near the monument to Ukrainian poet and writer Taras Shevchenko in front of the university named after him while Medvedev was meeting with students inside.

But police blocked their way to the square and to the nearby park, preventing the protest. Police told the activists that city authorities had not received an application from Svoboda officials to hold the gathering.

But Svoboda activists said their application was sent to Kyiv's Mayoral Office. The protesters decided not to confront police and the rally was called off.

Medvedev began his two-day official trip to Kyiv on May 17. Many Ukrainians are unhappy with some of the Russian-Ukrainian deals that have been signed since President Viktor Yanukovych came to power earlier this year, in particular one that extended a lease for the Russian Navy to use bases on the Crimean peninsula.