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Kyiv lights up in remembrance of Maidan 'Heavenly Hundred'

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By Sarah Chappell
Kyiv lights up in remembrance of Maidan 'Heavenly Hundred'

Shards of light stretched up into the sky in central Kyiv on Friday evening in honour of more than 100 people who died during the bloodiest days of the Maidan protests a year ago.

The ‘Rays of Light’ display beamed spotlights up from the ground at dozens of locations around Independence Square where the victims, known as the ‘Heavenly Hundred’, lost their lives in February 2014.

Thousands of people gathered in Independence Square, known locally as Maidan, for commemorative events that included an address by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and a performance of Mozart’s Requiem by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine.

Poroshenko was elected after his predecessor, Russia-leaning Victor Yanukovych, fled Ukraine at the height of the protests.

He told the crowd that Ukraine is committed to a European future.

“The year 2015 will be decisive in implementing fundamental changes, in building the new country and I am sure that Ukraine will live in peace, will develop and move towards Europe,” Poroshenko said.

Details of Ukraine’s investigations into the shootings have not been made public.

During Friday’s commemorative events Poroshenko said there was strong evidence suggesting that the shootings had been organised by Moscow.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called the accusation “madness.”

Russian media has reported that some of the shots fired into the crowd came from buildings that were controlled by anti-government activists.