MOSCOW, November 21 (Sputnik) — On Friday activists booed Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko as he attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the ‘heavenly hundred’ memorial erected on Institutskaya Street in Kiev.
This Friday Ukraine celebrates the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the pro-Eurointegration protests last year that culminated in a putsch which ousted President Viktor Yanukovich. The people killed during the protests on Institutskaya Street were nicknamed “the heavenly hundred.” US Vice President Joe Biden, who is in Kiev to discuss offering assistance to Ukraine, was slated to participate in the ceremony but changed plans at the last minute. Biden is only the last in a series of US officials who went out of their way to show support for the protesters and the regime that they subsequently installed.
“Shame [on you]!”, “You’re awarding our heroes posthumously!” chanted the crowd that assembled on Friday, which included some of the relatives of the dead. One of the activists pointed out that those wounded during the February clashes at Maidan Square didn’t receive the special status that would’ve provided them with free access to the social and medical assistance they require.
Poroshenko made an attempt to calm the crowd but failed, and was forced to leave the ceremony amid the angry shouting.
On November 21, 2013 the government of Ukraine, under Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, declared that preparations for signing the EU Association Agreement had been suspended. Almost immediately, protesters took to the streets in Kiev; and just like in 2004, Maidan Square became the center of protests.
According to some estimates, up to 100,000 protesters had gathered on the streets of the Ukrainian capital by November 24, 2013. After a gathering of protesters was dispersed by a ‘Berkut’ riot police unit, it became apparent that the activists who occupied the Maidan Square wouldn’t abandon their cause. The protests culminated in a coup on February 22, with President Victor Yanukovich being replaced by an interim government which was both more nationalistic and Russophobic, prompting separatist movements in Crimea and the predominantly Russian-speaking east of the country.