EuroMaidan protesters demand sanctions from EU

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Jan. 20, 2014, 2:37 p.m. | Photo — by Anastasia Vlasova
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The column of EuroMaidan activists is marching along Volodymyrska Street towards the EU delegation office in downtown Kyiv.
© Anastasia Vlasova

Anastasia Vlasova

Around 300 hundred activists gathered in front of the European Union delegation office in downtown Kyiv on Jan 20. They are calling on the EU to impose economic and visa sanctions against leading officials of Ukraine's government. The activists were marching from Independence Square chanting "Sanctions!"

Then they gathered in front of the EU delegation office on Volodymyrska Street. Most of the activists wore white ribbons tied over their heads with the sign “Help” on it. The action was initially organized by the public sector of EuroMaidan.

The activists were carrying posters “No sanctions – no peace” and "Bloody money kills democracy."  They also placed symbolic barbered wire around them. 

“Only with the help of the Europe we can win over the bandits,” the organizers said.

The organizers ask the participants of the action to appeal to EU delegates in English. The activists chant “We need your help!” and “Stop bloody money.”

Hanna Hopko, civil activist and one of the organizers of the action, believes Europe should act now.

“These days Ukraine’s civil community unites and we have one clear message – dictatorship will be established if EU keeps silence, especially after the events of Jan 19 in Kyiv,” Hopko said.

Dariya Kaleniuk, who works for the Anticorruption Action Center, is sure EU should keep an eye on Ukraine's oligarchs.

"Now it’s very easy for European representatives to help us: they just need to end ties with corrupted politics. EU should follow their anti-money laundering laws. And that is what should be done in Deutsche bank, for example, that should block transactions of money to Oleksandr Yanukovych’s VBR bank,” Dariya Kaleniuk says.

Yaryna Yasynevych, a participant of the action is sure if EU doesn't impose sanctions, it will "support dictatorship". "Yesterday's outbreak shows Ukrainian society is against those laws the parliament passed. It seems to me that the activists don't believe in peaceful protests anymore. However, I think it still has potential power," Yasynevych said.

The activists listed their demands in a letter to EU representatives and passed the letter. "I hope EU will hear us," Yasynevych adds. -- Olena Goncharova

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