08:33 GMT02 March 2021
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    Over 200,000 people are expected to take part in mass demonstrations that will take place starting on Saturday in central Kiev's Independence Square, or Maidan Nezalezhnosti, marking three years since the events that led to the toppling of the government of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

    KIEV (Sputnik) – According to the Kiev City State Administration, over 30 applications have been submitted for the holding of mass demonstrations in central Kiev on February 18-22, with more than 200,000 people expected to attend.

    On Saturday, over 25,000 people are expected to participate in at least six mass demonstrations in the Ukrainian capital, according to the Kiev authorities.

    The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has warned that some of the demonstrations planned for February 18-22 could lead to "violent scenarios."

    The government of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was toppled after months of protests in Kiev's landmark Maidan square in February 2014. The protests erupted after Yanukovych refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union.

    During clashes between the security forces and the protesters more than a hundred people died. The new Ukrainian authorities led by President Petro Poroshenko put the blame on Yanukovych.

    In March 2014, the Crimean peninsula voted in a referendum to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, in a move that has not been recognized as legitimate by the United States, the European Union and other countries. The southeast of Ukraine has been locked in conflict with Kiev after the Ukrainian government launched a military campaign against local residents, who refused to recognize the new coup-installed government.


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