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24.01.2014

Pavel Yukhnevich: Ukrainians understand they're in Belarusian situation

12:48, — Politics

Pavel Yukhnevich: Ukrainians understand they're in Belarusian situation

An activist of European Belarus civil campaign is among demonstrators in Kyiv.

Pavel Yukhnevich tells charter97.org what's going on in the Ukrainian capital.

I was listening to people on my way to Kyiv's centre. They discuss only politics and the pro-EU protests. There's an unprecedented level of solidarity and mutual help in Ukrainian society. I came to Kyiv and received to invitations to stay overnight from the people I didn't know before. Ukrainians have always liked Belarusians. The guy who offered his home to me already hosted Belarusians. He said they would come again soon. He says hosting our countrymen is a great honour for him. Ukrainians see they are in the 'Belarusian' situation now. They feel how difficult it is, he noted.

The activist says people wait for the evening and prepare to repel new police attacks.

There are many young people among protesters, but the defence unit consists mostly of older people. I don't see fear here. They are angry with the authorities that created this situation. People move from the square to Hrushevsky Street, the place of clashes before the truce. Everyone is busy. Some crush ice and put it into bags to build barricades, some bring tyres. The atmosphere is calm. People are waiting for the evening, Pavel Yukhnevich said.

Protests in Ukraine against failure to sign the Association Agreement with the EU have been continuing for more than two months. The most serious clashes between protesters and the police took place on January 22. The special forces and the police started a brutal operation in Kyiv's Hrushevsky Street. The police attacked the barricades. Gunshots were heard during the attack. The police approached the buses, which were burnt two days ago. Videos showed protesters trying to escape and policemen catching and beating them.

At least three people are reported to have died in clashes, hundreds were injured. Two demonstrators, among them Belarusian Mikhail Zhyzneuski, were shot by the police. Another protester died at hospital after falling from the top of the stadium.

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