The Ukrainian national anthem rang out in Kyiv on Sunday as around 70,000 people gathered in the city’s Independence Square .
Opposition parties say they will continue protesting until President Yanukovych is ready to work with them
Former economy minister-turned-opposition leader, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, addressed the crowds on stage. He has proposed the creation of a parallel government.
“We need a new independent and credible government which can resume talks with the IMF and other international institutions in order to stabilize the situation in my country. President Yanukovych offered me the post of prime minister, which looks like a political bargain and a way to buy the opposition and not to solve the problem. In response we proposed to take over the entire government and we are ready to bear the responsibility and to fix the political and economic crisis as it’s crystal clear that this president does not have the ability even to maintain the a stable situation,” said Yatsenyuk.
He also told euronews that the recently leaked tapes of US diplomats discussing Ukraine could be seen in a positive light.
“What we understand, is that our American and EU partners do really support Ukraine. This is for the first time that they made it public that they are ready to support Ukraine with a political and economic package and we highly appreciate the assistance of the US and of the EU,“Yatsenyuk said.
Elsewhere in the square there was a demonstration in support of a Russian TV station Dozhd – meaning rain – which can no longer broadcast after cable providers axed it.
The station made its name covering massive street protests in Russia against President Putin and has accused authorities of censorship.
French intellectual Bernard Henry Levy was in the square on Sunday and praised the Maidan movement:
“I haven’t seen neo-Nazis, I haven`t heard anti-Semites, I have heard the contrary – an incredibly mature movement, incredibly determined and very deeply liberal … I think the ambition of this Ukrainian movement is more bigger. What I hear in the Maidan is a willingness to revitalize the European dream, to restore its content, give it life. When people say ‘Europe’ here it isn’t a vague word, it means citizenship, it’s means rule of law, it means increasing freedom.
It’s a Europe which we too often lose the meaning of in Western Europe, but here in Maidan they are rediscovering its meaning,” said Levy.