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Ukraine Crises

Kiev protest

A campaign against the government of President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych took place on May 18, 2013. The event was initially prepared by the country's political opposition parties and number of civil movements as a culmination point to depose the President of Ukraine. Since then the protest in Kiev however transformed into a preliminary final, while the new provisional final date was postponed to August 24, 2013, the Independence Day. The Kiev protest grew into a mass national scandal between number of journalists and the parliamentary opposition deputies who tried to prove that authorities provoked disorder in the capital using armored military vehicle and sports athletes and the country's ruling party that denied any allegations and blaming in everything on the opposition. The members of the both march were both estimated 20,000 to 30,000 participants.[6]

Preparations

The Kiev events of May 18, the Europe Day in Ukraine, should have been a conclusion of the ongoing national campaign "Rise up, Ukraine!" that started on March 14, 2013. During the demonstrations the parliamentary opposition was supposed to announce the joint candidate to the 2015 presidential elections.[7]
On May 16, 2013 the Kiev City State Administration approved to hold both rallies,[8] one led by the Party of Regions as "Into Europe without fascism" and another led by a coalition of opposition parliamentary parties as part of "Rise up, Ukraine!" campaign. As the start of the event drew close the members of parliamentary opposition were complaining that the authorities were impeding arrival of the event willing participants that were coming to Kiev.[9]
Along with the main political demonstrations that day in Kiev were scheduled a lot of other public events. For example, the Social-Patriotic Assembly of Slavs planned to conduct a march "Ukraine - above all else" before noon, the Kiev City State Administration authorities planned the opening of the European Village with participation of the Ambassador of the European Union Jan Tombinski and Minister of Foreign Affairs Leonid Kozhara. Also that day were supposed to take place Ice Cream Festival, cycling and motor trials with participation of sports vehicles, the International football festival "Great Ball" and many more.

"Rise up, Ukrane!" route

The demonstration "Rise up, Ukraine!" was scheduled to take place from 10:00 in the morning to 19:00 in the evening starting at the European Square. The Kiev City Administration managed to find agreement with the All-Ukrainian Union Fatherland to leave the European Square by 12:15 in the afternoon and asked the Party of Regions not to start any events at the same square before 13:00 "A group of athletic men in tracksuits" assaulted attendees of the "Rise up, Ukraine!" march and journalists.[10][6]

"In Europe without fascism" route

The demonstration of Party of Regions which the party had called "anti-fascist demonstration" was planned to take place from 9:00 to 15:00 o'clock starting at the Memorial Complex "Museum of the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945" and finishing at the European Square. Participants of the rally ‘To Europe Without Fascists’ received compensation from Party of Regions "for the bus and daily expenses".[11]Earlier that spring more "Joining Europe without Fascists!" marches and "gathering" under the auspices of the Party of Regions were held.[12][13] The 18 May 2013 march was meant as "final anti-fascist rally" of a "nationwide four-day meeting".[12][13] According to press reports public employees had been ordered to attend the marches and gatherings.[6][13]The Jewish organisations Congress of the National Communities of Ukraine and the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities have spoken out against the "Joining Europe without Fascists!" marches; calling them "aimed primarily to discredit the political opposition".[14]

Demonstrations and rallies

Both rallies started to gather at the European Square on 18 May 2013 at 11:30. The rally of opposition eventually was supposed to march onto the Sofia Square (Sofiyivska Ploshcha).[15]
Highlights
  • Military vehicle in a blocked city
  • Participation of hostile civilians (athletes) in cooperation with militsiya
  • Passive actions from militsiya on demands of demonstrators to stop violence, allowing a civil disorder













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