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Opposition leader Klitschko calls for establishment of ‘militia brigades’ in Ukraine

February 02, 2014, 23:47 UTC+3 KIEV
He also called for cancelation of a law on amnesty for participants of mass riots in Ukraine that entered into force on Sunday
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© EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

KIEV, February 02, 23:34 /ITAR-TASS/. Vitali Klitschko, the leader of the UDAR opposition party in Ukraine, on Sunday called for establishment of “militia brigades.”

Speaking at an “information rally” of opposition supporters that gathered some 5,000 people in downtown Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), Klitschko urged “all democratic forces to go out for protests in front of regional administration buildings.”

“I am calling on you to establish militia brigades in each yard, district and house,” he said.

Klitschko is a former professional boxer. The party he leads is called the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR). The Russian world “udar” means “a punch” in English.

He also called for cancelation of a law on amnesty for participants of mass riots in Ukraine that entered into force on Sunday.

“The detainees should be freed without any conditions,” Klitschko said.

Protesters have held anti-government rallies that have often turned into violent clashes with police in Ukraine since the country refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union at a summit in Vilnius in November 2013 and opted for closer ties with Russia instead.

The Ukrainian authorities adopted some laws to toughen punishment for public order violations in mid-January but later repealed them.

Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov has resigned, and the Ukrainian authorities also decided to pardon participants of riots on condition that protesters vacate state and local power institutions they seized within 15 days. Opposition leaders reacted defiantly and with skepticism to the amnesty law.

Klitschko told those who gathered at the rally of his meetings with Western politicians in Munich, which hosted a security conference.

One of the key contenders for the post of prime minister, Ukrainian politician Pyotr Poroshenko said that in Munich, Ukraine’s opposition had “demanded from Europe decisive actions to restore democracy in Ukraine and protect the country’s population.”

He added that EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton would arrive in Ukraine on Tuesday, February 4, when the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, is to discuss the composition of the new cabinet.

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