Ukraine protests spread beyond capital as anger at government grows

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Ukraine protests spread beyond capital as anger at government grows

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Political unrest in Ukraine is spreading far outside the capital with people now occupying local government offices in 10 regions.

Several have already set up “people’s councils”, made up of ordinary protesters and opposition politicians who take day-to-day decisions.

Even in eastern Ukraine, which is mainly Russian-speaking and traditionally outside the stronghold of pro-western feeling, anger is growing at the recent crackdown on freedoms.

In Dniepropetrovsk about 3,000 protesters took to the streets on Sunday. More than a dozen activists were detained.

In Donetsk, the birthplace of President Yanukovych, and where he was once governor, pro- and anti-government protesters clashed.

While demonstrations are frequent in the capital, confrontations of this type in local regions are said to be unprecedented since World War II.

“It’s good that people got out to the streets and expressed their point of view, and not just sit at home and watch the events.” said Kyiv resident Volodymir. “ I think that the impulse that happened here had somehow resonated there and people paid attention to it. I think it’s good they started moving and acting, not just watching.”

The original protests were sparked in November when President Yanukovych turned his back on an EU agreement. However they have grown to include anger at political corruption, the intimidation of anyone who disagrees with the regime, and cronyism where important business contracts are given to friends of the president.

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