The Ukrainian opposition once again on Sunday called hundreds of thousands of people to Independence Square in downtown Kiev to protest in favor of a European Ukraine on the same day that the EU in Brussels announced the conclusion of talks aimed at reaching an Association Agreement due to a lack of a clear commitment by the government here.
Amid a sea of blue and yellow Ukrainian and European Union flags, the day of protest included political rallies and pop, rock and folk music concerts.
Demonstrators responded to shouts of "Glory to Ukraine!" from the stage with cries of "Glory to the heroes!" while an enormous banner reading "Understand us, we're fed up!" was displayed near the barricades erected by the protesters.
The popular assembly or "veche" approved by acclamation several unofficial resolutions, including one prohibiting President Viktor Yanukovych from signing agreements with Russia for Ukraine to join the Customs Union, an economic organization headed by Moscow and including Belarus and Kazakhstan.
They also demanded the release of all political prisoners, including opposition leader and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is serving a seven-year prison term after a questionable trial.
Since the popular protests began more than three weeks ago, a number of Western politicians have visited the square and on Sunday it was the turn of Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut.
The lawmakers expressed U.S. support for the Europe-oriented Ukrainian opposition and were noisily acclaimed by the crowd.
Murphy said that Ukraine "must be in Europe" and that the United States hailed Ukrainians who were expressing support for peaceful and democratic change, a sentiment echoed by McCain. EFE