- Title: UKRAINE: Pro-government rally in Kiev counters mass opposition protest
- Date: 22nd December 2013
- Summary: KIEV, UKRAINE (DECEMBER 22, 2013) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF ANTI-MAIDAN RALLY IN MARIINSKI PARK PEOPLE SITTING BESIDE AN OIL DRUM FIRE AND PUTTING WOOD INSIDE OIL DRUM FIRE PROTESTERS STANDING MORE OF PROTESTERS (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) COORDINATOR OF ANTI-MAIDAN PROTEST, ANDRIY, SAYING: "We decided to dissolve our peaceful rally, rather than suspend it because all our goals have been achieved." POSTER READING IN RUSSIAN "IN FRIENDSHIP WITH RUSSIA" (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) COORDINATOR OF ANTI-MAIDAN PROTEST, ANDRIY, SAYING: "For these two weeks we have made more than they have for the month of Euromaidan. They have celebrated a month of their standing, but I have a question for opposition leaders and Euro-activists - what do they do? And what do they celebrate? They celebrate a month free from work, and they rally. The opposition leaders do nothing, they only continue to speculate," PROTEST STAGE WITH PEOPLE IN CROWD SINGING PROTESTERS DANCING MAN DANCING MORE OF PROTESTERS DANCING ACTRESS ON STAGE CROWD LISTENING TO SPEECH POSTER OF PRESIDENT VIKTOR YANUKOVICH AND RUSSIAN PRESDIENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, READING (Russian): "Our future" PEOPLE DANCING A PROTESTERS LEGS FLAGS OF POLITICAL PARTIES FOR UKRAINE'S REGIONS POLICE POLICE BY ROADBLOCK
- Embargoed: 6th January 2014 12:00
- Location: Ukraine
- Country: Ukraine
- Topics: General,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAAQ4RD2IZNQ19I6PFH0KWDKY6P
- Story Text: While tens of thousand of people rallied against the government in Kiev's Independence Square on Sunday (December 22), several thousand government supporters held a counter rally outside the country's parliament to show that they believe President Viktor Yanukovich is the right man to run Ukraine.
The numbers of people attending the pro-government rallies have been much less than those gathering in Independence Square, also known as Maidan, but co-ordinator of the 'Anti-Maidan' campaign Andriy said that they would not continue their protest.
"We decided to dissolve our peaceful rally," Andriy said, 'because all our goals have been achieved."
Andriy went on to question what the anti-government protesters sleeping in Independence Square had achieved.
"I have a question for opposition leaders and Euro-activists - what do they do? And what do they celebrate? They celebrate a month free from work, and they rally.The opposition leaders do nothing, they only continue to speculate," he said.
Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have demonstrated in sub-zero temperatures against the snub to the EU, calling for closer ties with the wealthy European bloc which they associate with democracy, human rights and cleaner government.
The Ukrainian leader reached a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week on a $15 billion bailout and a big cut in the cost of Russian gas supplies to Kiev.
It is not clear what Moscow gained in return, beyond the satisfaction of blocking the EU's geopolitical outreach to a country it regards as the cradle of its own nation. Yanukovich made no commitment to join a Russian-dominated customs union.
The Ukrainian leader, whose Party of Regions is strongest in the eastern Russian-speaking part of the country, also had to juggle his own political survival and the economic interests of his family and oligarch supporters
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