A protester kicks an inflatable dummy of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on July 5, 2012 during an opposition rally in Kyiv. Several hundred opponents of a law elevating the status of Russian in Ukraine camped out in Kyiv on July 5 and several pressed on with hunger strikes as political tensions soared over the contentious issue. The sit-in outside a conference center in Kyiv follows violent clashes on July 4 between some 1,000 protesters and police triggered by the rushed passing by parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, of the law the day earlier.
The anti-bill activists, who have been rallying against the legislation since July 3 in downtown Kyiv, bought symbolic birthday gifts to Yanukovych, including a suitcase and a train ticket to the Belarusian village of Yanuki. The protesters believe the president is an ethnic Belarusian since his grandfather was born there, Ukraine’s news agency said.