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Ukrainians Hold 'Day of Anger' Protests

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TEHRAN, May 15 (ICANA) – A countrywide mass protest named “Day of Anger” has been held across Ukraine to protest rising prices, economic policies and judicial lawlessness.
Sunday, May 15, 2011 12:30:24 PM
Ukrainians Hold 'Day of Anger' Protests

Many people, including representatives of non-governmental organizations and opposition politicians, gathered in front of the Ukrainian Parliament in the capital, Kiev, to call for the government's resignation, a Press TV correspondent reported.

The demonstrators, who numbered in the hundreds, also called for early legislative and presidential elections.

According to the protest leaders, the rally was not as large as anticipated due to the presence of over a thousand police officers, who cordoned off the rally area in order to prevent large crowds from forming.

In a statement, the Ministry of the Internal Affairs said the protest was illegal, and that protesters will face prosecution in the courts.

“There were about 1,400 policemen. The only reason they are here is to prevent possible aggression,” Volodymyr Polishchuk, spokesman for Ministry of Internal Affairs, told reporters.

Protesters say bringing criminal cases against peaceful protesters is a tired policy of the current government, adding that the tactic is used as a measure to counter opposition voices.

“The rally is legal. Moreover, the same rallies are being held in other Ukrainian cities. We will stay here at least until the end of next week,” protest coordinator Alexander Danyluk said.

Reports say arrests were made when police clashed with protesters.

Experts say most people are pessimistic towards the government, with polls showing that over 63 percent of Ukrainians believe the country is heading in the wrong direction.

This is while 49 percent of Ukrainians do not support President Viktor Yanukovych, and Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has the full support of only 5 percent of the people.

“Previously, only politically motivated people attended such protests, but today I see average people as well,” political expert Igor Popov stated.

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