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Ukraine: Khodorkovsky Addresses Thousands On Maidan

A mass rally on Independence Square in Kyiv on March 9.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, addressing thousands on Kyiv's Independence Square, has accused Russia of complicity in the police violence that claimed more than 100 lives during protests against Ukraine's ousted pro-Russian president.

Khodorkovsky, a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin who spent a decade behind bars, said on March 9 that force was used against the protesters last month "with the agreement of the Russian authorities."

He told the crowd "I want you to know -- there is a completely different Russia."

In response, demonstrators chanted "Russia, wake up!"

Khodorkovsky on March 8 met with demonstrators who continue to occupy the Maidan, or Independence Square, despite the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych.

He is due to give a lecture at a Kyiv university on July 10.

Based on televised reports and reporting by Reuters and AFP