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Home News Key points in Ukrainian protests

Key points in Ukrainian protests

Published on 02/12/2013

Ukrainian protesters declared a general strike on Monday after violent clashes sparked by the government's sudden rejection of a historic pact with the European Union (EU).

Here are key dates in the opposition’s mobilisation:

– November 21: Ukraine orders a halt in preparations to sign a trade and political agreement with the EU and decides to reinforce relations with Moscow.

Opposition leaders denounce the decisions while the EU considers them a strategic error, and jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko calls the next day for public protests.

– November 24: Tens of thousands of pro-Western Ukrainians march in Kiev and demonstrate on Independence Square against the government’s decision. Scuffles break out with police as protestors try to storm the seat of government. Rallies also take place in other cities, notably Lviv.

– November 25: President Viktor Yanukovych reacts to the protests by calling for “peace”.

– November 27: Prime Minister Mykola Azarov says that Ukraine still wants a deal on closer ties with the EU, as mass protests go into a fourth day.

A day earlier, the government acknowledged for the first time that Russia dissuaded it from signing the EU deal.

– November 29: President Viktor Yanukovych confirms at an EU summit in Vilnius that he will not sign an association agreement with the Union.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso says the EU will not accept a Russian “veto” or any other meddling in its ties with other nations.

Opposition leaders say Yanukovych has betrayed the country and demand that he resign.

– November 30: The opposition’s mobilisation grows stronger and leaders call for the government’s ouster after security forces crack down against demonstrators.

– December 1: More than 100,000 people rally in Kiev and tens of thousand of others gather in smaller cities in favour of closer EU ties.

These are the biggest demonstrations in Ukraine since the Orange Revolution of 2004.

Masked protestors try to storm the president’s office and 165 people are injured.

On Monday, demonstrators block government offices following violent clashes, calling for Yanukovych’s immediate ouster and early elections.