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Tiny 4 pct of Ukraine’s population take part in protest rallies - legislator

February 01, 2014, 4:05 updated at: February 01, 2014, 6:48 UTC+3 1
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KIEV, February 1 (Itar-Tass) - A tiny four percent of the country’s population are taking part in the current protest actions in Ukraine, a member of parliament from the ruling Party of Regions, Oleg Tsarev, told the media on Friday.

“At the moment the protest actions, including those by hired young trouble-makers, demonstrators in Independence Square and the people who have been storming the buildings of local authorities, involve just four percent of the population,” Tsarev said.

In the near future he expects an upsurge in the public movement in the south and east of Ukraine.

“I am going to Kharkov now. We shall be rallying support there. Crimea is next. Lugansk and other cities will follow. In the Southeast the people have begun to self-organize.”

Opposition unrest in Ukraine began after the Nikolai Azarov government on November 21, 2013 declared it was suspending preparations for the conclusion of an association agreement with the European Union. The tensions surged on November 30, when police mounted a night-time attack on a large rally staged by the supporters of euro-integration in Independence Square in Kiev. Whereas originally the opposition pressed for the conclusion of an association agreement with the EU, after the crackdown it began to demand the resignation of the government and the president. From that moment on protest rallies have continued in the capital, where radically-minded trouble-makers stormed a number of administrative buildings, including Kiev’s city administration and the Justice Ministry. In other Ukrainian regions protesters have laid siege to some government buildings and offices.

In the meantime, Kiev and some regions of the country have seen rallies in support of the authorities.

According to analysts’ estimates, up to this very moment residents of Western Ukraine, having a population of ten million, have prevailed among the anti-government demonstrations. According to the latest census Ukraine has a population of 45.4 million.

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