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Demonstrators in Crimea blast Ukraine’s west for banning political parties

January 28, 2014, 17:52 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL
On Monday, authorities of western regions of Ivano-Frankovsk and Ternopol announced their decision to ban all activities and the use of symbols of the pro-presidential and communist parties
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© EPA/ZURAB KURTSIKIDZE

SIMFEROPOL, January 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Participants in Tuesday’s pro-government demonstration in Ukraine’s Crimean city of Simferopol blasted decision of some western regions of the country to ban activities of ruling Party of Regions and of the Communist Party.

Amid the ongoing violent anti-government protests across Ukraine, authorities of western regions of Ivano-Frankovsk and Ternopol announced on Monday of their decision to ban all activities and the use of symbols of the pro-presidential and communist parties.

“Such ban is an attempt to wipe out political opponents and is another step towards the escalation of the standoff,” Sergei Aksyonov, a local lawmaker and the leader of the Russian Unity party, said addressing the demonstrators. “We advise them to change their minds and take the pro-government position.”

The demonstration in Simferopol, which has a large share of the Russian-speaking population, gathered on Tuesday thousands of people, including representatives of local authorities as well as leaders of political and public movements. They urged opposition protesters to refrain from any attempts to overthrow the government in the country.

“We and our supporters believe that any attempt of the constitutional coup is inadmissible and that is why we gathered at today’s demonstration,” Aksyonov said. “We are against any radical event in Crimea, patriotically inspired, stand for the right cause and support legal authorities.”

A wave of anti-government protests erupted more than a week ago in the country’s capital, Kiev, and spread across Ukraine after parliament passed a set of laws on violations of public order. Protesters across the country stormed and seized a number of government buildings, including the City Hall and the Justice Ministry in Kiev.

A number of cities in the eastern part of Ukraine set up voluntary people’s guards in order to maintain order and prevent the seizure of administrative buildings and industrial facilities by radical protesters.

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