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Ukraine opposition leader on hunger strike

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 01:52

Nov. 26 - Jailed Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko launches hunger strike in support of pro-Europe campaign. Paul Chapman reports.

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As pro-Europe protests in Ukraine continued into the night on Monday jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko launched a hunger strike in support. A lawyer for the former prime minister said it was to help push President Viktor Yanukovich to think again about the government's rejection of a European Union trade pact. (SOUNDBITE)(English) SERHIY VLASENKO, LAWYER FOR FORMER UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER YULIA TYMOSHENKO, SAYING: "Mrs Tymoshenko is limited in her rights and in her possibilities to protest against that. So from today she announced the timeless hunger strike up till the situation when Yanukovich will sign this association agreement with the European Union in Vilnius." New clashes broke out on Monday between riot police and the protesters after the president sought to defuse the backlash. Nearby other demonstrators listened to speeches denouncing government policy and urging greater integration with Europe. The speakers included Ukrainian boxing champion and opposition politician Vitaly Klitschko. (SOUNDBITE)(Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN BOXING CHAMPION AND OPPOSITION POLITICIAN VITALY KLITSCHKO SAYING: "Those people who are not afraid, who are not just sitting but who show their civic position, who are ready to fight for their future, only those people can win. Because without a fight there is no victory and that is why we will prove that Ukraine belongs to Europe. Glory to Ukraine." Ukraine had been due to sign the far-reaching EU trade deal at a summit on Friday. Last week Kiev suddenly said it had decided instead to seek closer trade ties with Moscow. The move followed months of Russian pressure although Moscow's accusing the EU of putting the squeeze on Ukraine as well.

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Ukraine opposition leader on hunger strike

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 01:52