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Hundreds of thousands of pro-EU demonstrators gather in Kyiv

Hundreds of thousands of pro-EU demonstrators gather in Kyiv
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A mass pro-EU rally in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv brought together an estimated 200,000 protesters in the city’s Independence Square on Sunday, December 15.

The huge demonstration came on the same day that EU enlargement chief Štefan Füle announced, via Twitter, that talks on a trade deal with Ukraine had been halted.

Four weeks of protest have yielded little result, but opposition leader Vitali Klitschko says most of the country wants closer integration with Europe.

Klitschko told euronews: “70 percent of the Ukrainian population wants to see Ukraine as a part of European family.”

US Senator John McCain became the latest high-profile foreign politician to support Ukraine’s pro-EU activists.

McCain addressed the Kyiv crowd, saying: “Peaceful process and peaceful protest is inspiring your country and inspiring the world. Ukraine will make Europe better, and Europe will make Ukraine better.”

After suspending talks on the EU trade deal last month, Ukraine’s government said it would be refocusing on Russia instead.

Euronews correspondent Maria Korenyuk reported from Kyiv: “Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych will visit Moscow next Tuesday to discuss joining the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. On that day, the Ukrainian opposition will hold another mass street rally in Independence Square to declare that Ukraine must not join.”