Peaple are protesting to disagree with Ukraine's Prime Minister Mykola Azarov's decision to delay the signing of an association deal with the European Union. Opposition leaders, including boxing champion Vitaly Klichko, have joined the protesters in Ukraine's capital Kyiv, reports ВВС. People are rallying for the the third day in a row.
On Saturday in the morning, riot police began pressing the protesters away from the Independence Square in Kyiv in order to clear up space for a huge Christmas tree that is traditionally erected before the holidays, reports UNIAN.
A Kyiv court has ruled that tents must not be erected on the square in the period from November 22 through January 7, 2014. Protesters tried to defy the ruling and mount tents but were prevented from doing so by riot police commandos.
Protesters clashed with the police also in Mikalayev. The police beat up pro-European integration supporters, including women and old people. One of the women had to seek medical assistance.
Ukraine could sign an association agreement with the EU at the upcoming summit in Vilnius next week. But the government in Kyiv decided to halt preparations for signing the deal due to pressure from Russia, which wants Ukraine to join Moscow-led Customs Union with Kazakhstan and Belarus.
People are rallying in Kyiv, Lviv, Luhansk, Uzhorod, Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk and others.