Ukrainians protest over economy

Thousands of people demonstrate in Kiev over price hikes and pay cuts.

    Protesters demand the resignation of
    Kiev's mayor [AFP]

    Anger at mayor

    Valery Chernyenko, head of the National Committee for Saving Business, said protesters were demanding a new government.

    "Today the crisis that is developing all across Ukraine, is also destroying Kiev. Therefore, today we are demanding an immediate resolution that Ukraine needs a new government."

    Protesters also demanded the resignation of Leonid Chernovetsky, the city's mayor, who has had his work investigated by a parliamentary commission, which also advised him to undergo mental health tests.

    Chernovetsky's policies, aimed at covering city budget deficits, include scrapping free medical care in Kiev clinics, the closure of some schools and kindergartens, a reduction in heating temperature for homes and businesses, and a large rise in public transport costs.

    His measures have been particularly unpopular with the city's middle classes.

    Antonina Sotnichenko, a Kiev resident, said she felt "ashamed" of the capital.

    "We have come here because we are ashamed of our Kiev, we want to leave. We are all seeing what Chernovetsky and his team are doing. Our children and grandchildren. We feel ashamed of our inability to protect Kiev from this government," she said.

    Ivan Golodevsky, another protester, said he wanted the mayor to negotiate over key issues.

    "The government is for the people, and not people for the government. This is not our first protest and our goal is the following; no talks, the mayor should be removed," he said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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