Rallies of supporters and opponents of the government held in Kharkov
On January 12, supporters and opponents of the current government held rallies in the center of Kharkov. Several hundred people gathered for a rally near the monument to Yaroslav the Wise (next to National Law Academy and Pushkinskaya metro station).
EuroMaidan protesters with posters “Freedom to state employees” and “Slaves aren’t allowed into heaven” stood on one side of the monument; they were addressed by Ukrainian writers Sergei Zhadan and Kapranov brothers. The other side of the monument was the rally place for supporters of Viktor Yanukovych who came with the flags of Ukraine and the Party of Regions. Representatives of law enforcement agencies stood between the members of the two rallies.
Three young men who were throwing smoke bombs and firecrackers into the crowd of EuroMaidan supporters were detained and taken to the police department in Kievsky borough of Kharkov, where the police initiated a case under Articles 173 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism) and Article 195 (violation of rules of storage or transportation of firearms, melee or pneumatic weapons and ammunition by employees of enterprises, institutions, organizations), reports the press service of the Kharkov Regional Department of the Interior Ministry.
Yesterday, on January 11, Kharkov hosted a rally in support of President Viktor Yanukovych and against the EuroMaidan. People started gathering from the very morning near the monument to Shevchenko, the usual location of local EuroMaidan, standing along the driveway of Sumskaya Street, from Constitution Square to Freedom Square. Anti-Maydan gathered about two thousand people.
Protesters were standing along the Sumskaya street with flags of Ukraine and the Party of Regions, as well as with banners reading “You want Maidan – go outside the city”, “Enough lazing on EuroMaidan! Go back to work!”, “Yes to calm and stable life in Ukraine! No to EuroMaidan debauchery”, “Kharkov likes the President”, “Maidan does not fill the Budget”, and so on.
A stage has been set up near the Shevchenko monument. Anti-Maidan protesters support the course of Viktor Yanukovych, oppose holding the EuroMaidan forum in Kharkov, and highlight the benefits of agreements between the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia.