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Ukraine protesters up the ante against Viktor Yanukovych as EU halts talks

Even as the temperatures plummeted to near freezing point on Sunday, the incensed Ukrainians kept up the heat as they converged on the Independence Square in Kiev in huge numbers



Zee Media Bureau

Kiev: Even as the temperatures plummeted to near freezing point on Sunday, the incensed Ukrainians kept up the heat as they converged on the Independence Square in Kiev in huge numbers to step up the pressure on the government for greater Western liaison even as the European Union halted the talks.

Miffed with the Ukrainian government`s vague demeanour over the deal that will increase political and economic ties with the European Union, the bloc`s top official Stefan Fuele tweeted that the proceedings reagrding the deal had been put on hold until the Ukraine government showed a clear commitment to sign the deal.

He lashed out at the Ukraine government saying that their words and deeds did not match and their arguments were groundless.

In what is being billed as the largest protests in Ukraine since Orange Revolution of 2004, the protesters, nearly three lakhs in number, assembled at the Independence Square to express outrage against President Viktor Yanukovych, who apparently under Russian influence refused to sign the much-awaited EU deal.

The crowds were joined by the US Senators Republican John McCain and Chris Murphy who emboldened the protesters extending their support to them, threatening sanctions against the government of President Viktor Yanukovych if authorities use more violence to disperse the protests.

"We are here to support your just cause, the sovereign right of Ukraine to determine its own destiny freely and independently. And the destiny you seek lies in Europe," McCain was quoted as saying by a news agency.

We ... want to make it clear to Russia and Vladimir Putin that interference in the affairs of Ukraine is not acceptable to the United States,” he added.

"To all Ukraine, America stands with you," McCain cheered the crowd.

The protests began Nov. 21 after Yanukovych announced he was backing away from signing a long-awaited agreement to deepen trade and political ties with the EU and instead focus on Russia, and have grown in size and intensity after two violent police dispersals.

In the face of the protests, which present a serious challenge to Yanukovych`s leadership, Ukrainian officials this week renewed talks with the EU agreement and promised that they would sign the deal once some issues are worked out.

From Zee News

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