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Opposition defenders of Ukrainian language picket Verkhovna Rada

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July 30, 2012, 11:17 a.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

The Batkivschyna Party and Svoboda All-Ukrainian Union have held a picketing outside the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, where a special session had started at 10 a.m.
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The Batkivschyna Party and Svoboda All-Ukrainian Union have held a picketing outside the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, where a special session had started at 10 a.m.

The opposition formed a live chain from European Square along Hrushevskoho Street and Shovkovychna Street. The protesters stood on the sidewalk and did not impede traffic.

Plenty of policemen and Berkut special unit officers have been deployed in the Verkhovna Rada yard.

Meanwhile, the Regions Party deputies had occupied the parliament presidium and rostrum before the session began. The Regions Party deputies also stayed in the governmental box, while others stood around the parliament rostrum, an Interfax-Ukraine reporter said.

Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn said earlier the special session's agenda included several draft resolutions on re-voting the bill on the principles of the state language policy.

The Verkhovna Rada passed the bill initiated by the Regions Party on July 3 to strengthen the position of Russian and other national minority languages in the areas where national minorities constitute 10% or more of the population.

The opposition alleged numerous violations in the adoption of the bill. Lytvyn and his deputy Mykola Tomenko tendered their resignations on July 4.

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