Live Stream From Escalating Ukraine Protests As Hundreds Of Thousands Take To The Streets
As reported yesterday, in the aftermath of the violent crackdown on a pro-Europe rally, and the resulting call by the opposition for president Yanukovich's resignation through nationwide strikes, the situation in the Ukraine is increasingly more unstable. Moments ago Reuters reported that Ukrainian nationalist protesters broke into Kiev's city hall and were occupying at least part of the building during mass protests that drew several hundred thousands out on the streets to protest the government's decision to forego an EU deal. Nationalist leader Oleh Tyahniboh told Interfax that representatives of his party had taken over the building. "Today literally 40 minutes ago, our boys took the Kiev Council," he told crowds on Kiev's Independence Square.
Some more detail on the rally itself via Reuters:
Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians shouting "Down with the Gang!" rallied on Sunday against President Viktor Yanukovich's U-turn on Europe and some used a building excavator to try to break through police lines at his headquarters.
The rally, by far the biggest seen in the Ukrainian capital since the Orange Revolution nine years ago, came a day after a police crackdown on protesters that inflamed demonstrators further after Yanukovich's policy switch.
Last month Yanukovich - after months of pressure from former Soviet master Russia - backpedalled from signing a landmark deal on closer relations with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Moscow.
To try to defuse tensions before Sunday's rally, Yanukovich issued a statement saying he would do everything in his power to speed up Ukrainian moves toward the EU.
In a sea of blue and gold, the colours of both the EU and Ukrainian flags, protesters swept into Kiev's Independence Square to hear heavyweight boxer-turned-opposition politician Vitaly Klitschko call for Yanukovich to resign.
"They stole the dream. If this government does not want to fulfil the will of the people, then there will be no such government, there will be no such president. There will be a new government and a new president," he said to cheers.
Far-right nationalist Oleh Tyahniboh, another opposition leader, called for a national strike. "From this day, we are starting a strike," he declared.
"I want my children to live in a country where they don't beat young people," said protester Andrey, 33, the manager of a large company, who declined to give his surname for fear of reprisals against him.
At what point will Russia have to step in, either directly or indirectly, to preserve the new post-USSR world order it has so carefully and meticulously achieved so far?
Live webcast from the Ukraine below:
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