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KIEV, December 22, (ITAR-TASS). Over 12,000 people gathered on Kiev’s Independence Square (the Maidan) for a yet another ‘people’s viche’ - a self-styled popular assembly with broad political claims and aspirations.
“No major encroachments on law and order have been registered so far,” a spokeswoman for the Kiev Interior Department told Itar-Tass.
The ‘viche’ declared the setting up of a new public association - the Maidan All-Nation Union.
The steering body of the latter, according to a ‘resolution’ of the gathering, includes former parliament speaker Arseny Yatsenyuk, who currently leads the Batkivshchina party, the leader of the UDAR party Vitaly Klichko, and leader of the far-right nationalistic Svoboda party Oleg Tyagnybok, former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko who is serving a jail term for abuse of office, former Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko, former Foreign Foreign Minister Boris Tarasyuk, businessman and politician Pyotr Poroshenko, MPs representing oppositionist parties, and activists of various public associations.
The ‘viche’ passed a resolution saying Maidan will be entrusted with a job of “unfolding a broad mobilization activity for counteraction to the incumbent regime in all the regions of Ukraine and for coordination of the protest movement across the entire territory of the country.”
It also stressed the vehement resolve of the protesters on Kiev’s main square “to stand tall and struggle until the moment Yanukovich heeds the voice of millions.”
Irreconcilable oppositionists have been using this method of mobilization - and particularly in the highly nationalistic western regions of the country -- on at least four occasions. They have been pressing forward with an array of demands ranging from the signing of the stalled agreement on association with the EU to the cabinet’s resignation to changes in the Constitution.
So far, however, the authorities have met them halfway on only one item of the demands - last Thursday, the Verkhovna Rada had a voting on a bill that lifts criminal responsibility from the people who took part in the actions of protest from November 21 and through to the day when the law took effect.
Earlier, calls could be heard among the oppositionists to round up the action of protest December 17 but the previous ‘viche’ responded to the calls to continue the meeting through to Christmas so as to assure fulfillment of the demands they put forward to the Presidential Administration and the government.