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Sandwiches Are Symbol of Sympathy to Ukrainians at Maidan: Nuland

© Flickr / U.S. Embassy Kyiv UkraineUS Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland
US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland - Sputnik International
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US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland explained that the sandwiches she was giving out during the Ukrainian protests to both parties were a symbol of sympathy with the situation in the country during the Maidan events.

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WASHINGTON, December 18 (Sputnik) — US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland considers the sandwiches she was giving out during the Ukrainian protests a symbol of sympathy with the situation in the country during the Maidan events.

“It was a symbol of sympathy with the horrible situation that Yanukovich had put Ukrainians in, putting them against each other,” Nuland said during the event at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington Wednesday. “First of all, to correct some disinformaciya [Russian for disinformation], they were sandwiches, they were not cookies.”

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Assistant Secretary of State explained that on December 11, the night before she went out to the protesters, European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and she were in Kiev, trying to work with both Yanukovich and the opposition. Nuland recalled being awakened in the middle of the night when Yanukovich ordered Berkut security forces onto the Maidan.

“There were some 2,000 young guys in these Adam Ant suits, pushing onto innocent demonstrators while Catherine Ashton and I were there,” she said, adding that Berkut ended up retreating after being surrounded by the protesters.

That is why the next morning Nuland did not feel that in the Slavic tradition she could go down to the protesters “empty-handed.”

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“We bought the sandwiches not only to those demonstrators who had such a traumatic evening, we also gave them to the Berkut,” she said.

Assistance Secretary of State stressed that the Russian media did not report about sandwiches for the Ukrainian security forces.

“Obviously that wasn’t useful to Moscow propaganda to point that out, but there are pictures of me giving the sandwiches also to the Berkut [forces], who were equal victims of the authoritarian structure,” she asserted.

“The United States will never be shy about supporting efforts for more democracy, more popular choice, more enfranchisement, anywhere in the world,” she concluded.

US Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland will be in Ukraine later this week to join the US Vice President Joe Biden during his visit. - Sputnik International
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Protesters occupied Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or Independence Square, on November 21, 2013, after Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers announced they would not sign a European Union association agreement.

The Euromaidan protests then spread across the country, resulting in violent armed clashes between radicals and the police. The protests were actively supported by officials from the United States and European Union.

These protests led to the violent conflict in Ukraine, that dramatically escalated in mid-April, when Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that refused to recognize the new government, which came to power as a result of a February coup.

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