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EuroMaidan rallies in Ukraine - Dec. 16

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Dec. 17, 2013, 4:52 a.m. | Ukraine — by Kyiv Post

A yound man is playing piano near City Hall Maidan to passers-by.
© Pavlo Podufalov

Editor's Note: The Kyiv Post is providing continuous coverage of the protests in Kyiv and other cities following the government's decision on Nov. 21 to stop European Union integration by rejecting an association agreement. The rallies started on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square). The events can be followed on Twitter using hashtags #euromaidan and #євромайдан or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EuroMaydan.  

Watch video of EuroMaidan events here on live stream and hromadske.tv

Prosecutor's office: Klyuev is nothing to do with police brutality

Dec. 16, 11: 05 p.m. Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Andriy Kliuyev was not involved in the November 30 crackdown of a pro-European rally on Independence Square, the public relations department of the Prosecutor General's Office reported on Monday.

On Monday, Kliuyev came of his own volition to the PGO's Investigation Department, where he was interrogated, First Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine Vitaliy Bilous said.

"He explained his coming by a desire to give testimony in the case concerning the events on Independence Square. Investigators established that Kliuyev had nothing to do with the events that occurred on Independence Square on the night of November 29 to November 30," Bilous said. Read more here. --Interfax-Ukraine

A Party of Regions member predicts "drastic reshuffles" next year

Dec. 16, 11: 00 p.m.  MP from the Regions Party faction in parliament Oleh Tsariov has said he predicts all serious issues in Ukraine, including reshuffles, will be addressed in 2014.

"Nowadays when the country is facing such serious challenges we must think about the country. Saving Ukraine as a state is now at stake. We've got problems, [there are] people we've got questions to ask – we've got many questions to ask the Cabinet, ministers, governors, officials – believe me people come to us with their requests, and we know what the corruption is…We've decided to discuss these issues next year," he told the journalists on Monday.

Besides, Tsariov said that Premier Mykola Azarov fully agrees with assessments given by some MPs in their speeches, the party's press service reported.

Being aware of the complicated situation in the country, the economic crisis, Regions Party faction MPs came to the conclusion: "only the unity of the faction, the majority in parliament and the government of Mykola Azarov could serve a stabilization formula." --Interfax-UKraine

Democratic Alliance flashmob to say goodbye to Azarov

Dec. 16, 5:40 p.m. A small political party, whose trademark is pickets and flashmob, gave an early present to Prime Minister Mykola Azarov today, who turns 66 on Dec. 17. They held a flashmob in central Kyiv, standing in the shape of letters spelling "66 Kolya, ciao." This unusual goodbye comes just a day before the prime minister hits the legal age limit to civil service. Resignation of Azarov and his hugely unpopular government is one of the key demands of the protesters in the street. Hanna Herman, a lawmaker from the Party of Regions, said on Dec. 16 that 90 percent of the government is set to be reshuffled.  The "ciao" (Italian for goodbye) is also a reference to "Vitya, ciao!" - one of the most popular songs that plays on EuroMaidan. The name Vitya is short for Viktor, as in President Viktor Yanukovych. --Katya Gorchinskaya

Democratic Alliance flashmob says "66 Kolya ciao!"

Dec. 16, 5:19 p.m. Ukrainian Euromaidan protesters finally finished decorating country's main Christmas Tree at Maidan Nezalezhnosti. The metal construction that was decorated by Ukrainian flags and protest posters back on Dec. 1, has now got flags of EU countries and countries, that supported Euromaidan. The top of the metal Christmas Tree is decorated with a wooden star with Ukrainian National coat of arms in the middle. -- Daryna Shevchenko


The Christmas Tree on EuroMaidan gets a new top. Over the past weeks, it has been decorated by banners, flags, various inscriptions and the like, by the protesters themselves. (C) Pavlo Podufalov

Ukrainian government tells US senators that no force will be used against demonstrators

Dec. 16, 4:40 p.m. “The Ukrainian government has promised visiting U.S. senators that force will not be used against peaceful protesters.

"I presented a draft resolution that sanctions should be imposed if violence is used against the protesters. Today they promised that the government will do the utmost to keep the peace, and we hope that this promise will be observed," U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said Interfax-Ukraine. . -- Interfax-Ukraine

Bildt says European Union ready to sign Association Agreement by the end of the week if it gets clear message from Yanukovych

Dec. 16, 3 p.m. “Talks require policy. There is double-speak from President Viktor Yanukovych. He sends one of his deputy prime ministers (Serhiy Arbuzov) to Brussels to say nothing and then he says another thing in Kyiv. So it’s very difficult to see,” Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden Carl Bildt said before EU Foreign Affairs Council taking place in Brussels on Dec.16.

“But if it’s a clear message from Kyiv, we are ready to sign tomorrow. I mean it’s perfectly possible if President Viktor Yanukovych were to give a clear message, let’s say by tomorrow, we can clearly sign in connection with the European Council by the end of the week,” he said.

The video can be watched here.  --  Anastasia Forina

Dec. 16, 2:23 p.m. Kyiv City Administration made a decision to give up on constructing country's main Christmas Tree at Maidan Nezalezhnosti this year, because of mass protests downtown Kyiv. The head of Cultural departament in city administration Svitlana Zorina also said that there is no other place in the city to construct such a big Christmas Tree. "Any Christmas Tree bigger than 10-15 meters should be constructed in a special slot and such a special place in Kyiv was made for the main Christmas tree  at Maidan Nezalezhnosti 25 years ago," she explained. -- Interfax-Ukraine

Ukrainian cities Kharkiv, Rivne gripped by anti-government protests

Dec. 16, 1:20 p.m.  Around 1,000 activists gathered in Kharkiv, waving Ukraine-EU flags. Kapranov brothers writers, Ukrainian modern poet Artem Polezhaka were spotted among the protesters. Meanwhile, 1,000 activists gathered in Rivne on their Independence square for anti-government protests, LB.ua reports.

Dec. 16, 12:40 p.m. Mid-day is a good time to see how EuroMaidan has taken up a life of its own. Up to 5,000 protesters here are mostly going about their business. A group of teenagers practice throwing darts at a poster of the president's behind. At the barricade that leads to European Square, five men kick a soccer ball around, while another group from Chervonohrad remove sacks of snow to create a second entrance after guarding one all night. Others pause to drink tea and snack on sandwiches. An older woman, Mariya Balabash of Kolomiya, lights a candle inside a makeshift chapel housed in a tent. "I always light two candles," she says. "One for the people out here, the other -- for Ukraine's future."

Afghan veteran Grisha Kuznetsov, who was an ensign in Afghanistan, says that provocateurs continuously change tactics: "Sometimes, they dress up as police and try to enter. They send other Afghan veterans to try and shame us. Yesterday, a group under our noses hung up six black suitcases on the Christmas Tree and said it was a bomb to go off at noon. One fearless bodyguard climbed up to open them -- they were empty."

"There is a company of us veterans. There are also many more former airborne guys, commandos, former police are conducting patrols," he says. --Mark Rachkevych

EuroMaidan activists will decorate Christmas tree with EU flags

Dec. 16, 12:30 p.m. EuroMaidan activists plan to decorate Christmas tree on Maidan Nezalezhnosti with EU countries flags today at 2 p.m.

A view of Christmas tree on Maidan Nezalezhnosti in the morning of Dec. 16. (c) Photo @pyatin from Instagram

Anonymous released app that attacks governmental websites

Dec. 16, 11:50 a.m. Anonymous hacker group released an application made for attacking the number of governmental websites and other "malicious websites that lie about EuroMaidan." The app is available for Android phones and tablets. – Olena Goncharova

Klitschko calls on prosecutor to suspend Kliuev, Zakharchenko

Dec. 16, 11:10 a.m. Opposition calls on Public Prosecutor Viktor Pshonka to suspend Andriy Kliuev, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council and Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko. Vitaly Klitschko said Kliuev and Zakharchenko should be punished as the main organizers of EuroMaidan dispresal at night on Nov. 30, reads UDAR party website. – Olena Goncharova

Opposition leaders speak near Prosecutor's office on Dec. 16. Photo from Arseniy Yatseniuk Facebook page

A view of Maidan on Dec. 16

Activists keep coming to Maidan Nezalezhnosti on Dec. 16. Photo @MaloverjanBBC from Twitter

Euromaidan activists ask not to boycott banks

Dec. 16, 10:40 a.m. Euromaidan leaders warns activists about boycotting banks. "We call on everyone not to picket any bank as we need to retain Ukraine's financial stability," reads the post on Euromaidan facebook page. – Olena Goncharova

Police, security chiefs, Kyiv City Hall head suspected of abuse of power during Euromaidan crackdown

Dec. 16, 10:05 a.m. Officers of the Public Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine have handed a notification on suspicion of abuse of power during the events at night on November 30, 2013 on the Maidan Square to Volodymyr Sivkovych, Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Head of Kyiv City Administration Oleksandr Popov and top police officials - the Head of Kyiv police Valeriy Koriak and Deputy Head of Kyiv police Petro Fedchuk, Public Prosecutor of Ukraine Viktor Pshonka said. – Interfax-Ukraine

Peaceful morning on Maidan Nezalezhnosti

Dec. 16, 9:50 a.m. Around 7,000 people spent night on Maidan. The atmosphere is calm. The activists clean the streets, others warm up near the fire. No violence was reported. Activivsts traditionally sing national anthem hourly. – Interfax-Ukraine

Read the coverage of the Dec. 15 events here

Read the coverage of the Dec. 14 events here.

Read the coverage of the Dec. 13 events here.

Read the coverage of the Dec. 12 events here.

Read the coverage of the Dec. 11 events here.

Read the coverage of the Dec. 10 events here.

Read the coverage of the Dec. 9 events here.

Read the coverage of the Dec. 8 events here.

Read the coverage of the Dec. 7 events here.

Read the coverage of the Dec. 6 events here.

Read the coverage of the Dec. 5 events here.

Read the coverage of the Dec. 4 events here.

Read the coverage of the Dec. 3 events here.

Read the coverage of the Dec. 2 events here.

Read the morning coverage of the Dec. 1 events here, and the afternoon and evening coverage here.

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