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City center in Kiev blocked on third anniversary of “EuroMaidan”

Photo: korrespondent.net

As events timed to the 3rd anniversary of EuroMaidan are held in Ukraine today, on November 21, the central streets in Kiev and the Khreschatyk and Institutskaya underground stations have been closed. Kiev National Police Chief Andrey Krishchenko says 12 checkpoints with metal detectors have been installed in the city center.

“Up to 6,000 law-enforcers will be in the city center, including the National Guard and the Police. Bomb squads and police dog units will be involved in the process, including at 12 checkpoints throughout the city center,” Krishchenko said adding that cars, motor transport will be checked to above provocations and help people mark this day peacefully.

The police chief said the police closely cooperate with the Security Service to prevent provocations. It is expected that 11,000 people will be participating in the events in Kiev. It is anticipated that in all the regions of Ukraine 380 large-scale events involving at least 66,000 will be held. About 18,000 law-enforcers will be patrolling throughout the country.

On November 21 2013, the Ukrainian government announced a suspension of the Association Agreement with the European Union. In response, the opposition of the Supreme Rada of the previous convocation blocked the parliament session and a long-term protest action was launched in the Independence Square. During those events, aggressive nationalists set up armed “self-defense squads” and clashed with the law-enforcement.

The conflict culminated when still unidentified snipers opened fire in Institutskaya Street on February 20 2014. By official data, snipers killed 53 people then. The confrontation in Kiev claimed more than 80 lives, with about 100 people being injured and wounded. Both protesters and Berkut officers died of gunshot wounds.

On February 21, representatives of the opposition forces signed an agreement with the then president Victor Yanukovych on the ways out of the crisis and on establishment of a national unity government. However, attacks on governmental institutions continued and the president had to leave the country. The opposition factions in the parliament took the power on the next day. On February 22, the Supreme Rada passed an enactment “On self-withdrawal of the President of Ukraine from performing his constitutional duties and setting early elections of the President of Ukraine.” Petro Poroshenko was elected the next president of Ukraine.

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