Tymoshenko supporters stage Independence Day protest in Kiev

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Tymoshenko supporters stage Independence Day protest in Kiev

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Opposition activists have marked Independence Day in Ukraine by protesting over the continued imprisonment of Yulia Tymoshenko.

The former prime minister’s seven-year sentence is viewed by many as political persecution.

Supporters of President Viktor Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions also filled the streets of Kiev.

During an Independence Day speech, Yanukovich said Ukraine would not pursue integration with the EU at the price of allowing it to interfere in Tymoshenko’s case.

Looking to the future, Ukrainians told euronews that their country is facing a variety of threats.

“What could endanger Ukraine’s independence is losing our gas and transport system to Russia,” one man said.

A woman added: “A real danger is losing the Ukrainian language.”

Another man commented: “The main threat is that there is no unity among Ukrainians.”

euronews correspondent Angelina Kariakina, who is in Kiev, said: “The direction in which Ukrainians move forward will be decided very soon, at the upcoming parliamentary elections.”