Students rally during a EuroMaidan demonstration in Kyiv.
On Wednesday, thousands of university students from Kyiv and other cities returned to the Ukrainian capital’s main square in larger numbers one day after calling a strike.
Their arrival re-energized a seventh day of protests by activists, politicians and average Ukrainians against last week’s stunning government decision to back out of signing historic EU integration agreements at a Vilnius summit being held this Thursday and Friday.
Ruslana, the charismatic winner of the 2004 Eurovision song competition with Wild Dances, rallied crowds from Tuesday evening overnight into Wednesday amid bone-chillingly cold weather. She kept them dancing to stay warm, singing and chanting: “We exist, we are Europe. Ukraine is Europe. Youth of the nation… for Euro integration.”
As the protests mounted for a seventh day with students from other cities arriving, donations from ordinary citizens of food, warm drinks and blankets piled up at the central protest site on Kyiv's main square, site of the 2004 Orange Revolution and now dubbed “Euro-Maidan.”
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