Ukrainian President Booed on Euromaidan Anniversary

Ukrainian President Booed on Euromaidan AnniversaryUkrainian President Booed on Euromaidan Anniversary

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was heckled by protesters as he tried to pay tribute to the victims of the last year’s Euromaidan riots in Kiev, which saw around 100 dead and led to a regime change in the country.

“Shame on you!”, “Who are your heroes, Poroshenko?” and “Down with Poroshenko!” people shouted as the president lit a candle at the memorial at Institutskaya Street in central Kiev, the RT reported.

Around 50 people were killed on Institutskaya Street during clashes between the police and protesters, in which firearms were widely used, with the rest of the victims dying at the nearby Independence Square or Maidan.

Relatives were outraged by the inability of the authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the fatalities during pro-European rallies as banners saying: “Poroshenko, where are the killers?” were on display.

Many Euromaidan victims were gunned down by sniper fire, with the ongoing official investigation by Kiev blaming a group of elite soldiers from the Berkut riot police for the killings.

However, there are strong suspicions – backed by a leaked phone call between the Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and EU foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton – that the snipers were, actually, hired by the leaders of the Maidan protests.

Ukraine celebrates “Dignity and Freedom Day” on Friday, marking the first anniversary of the Euromaidan.

On November 21, 2013, thousands gathered on Kiev’s Independence Square after then-President Viktor Yanukovich decided to postpone the signing of an association agreement with the European Union.

The protests, spearheaded by far-right radicals, lasted for several months and culminated in heavy violence in February 2014, which forced Yanukovich to flee the country.

The coup in Kiev resulted to the Republic of Crimea withdrawing from Ukraine and provoked a conflict in the country’s southeast, in which over 4,300 people have died, according to the UN.

  NATO Ambition

Meanwhile on Friday, Ukraine’s new coalition government declared joining NATO a priority.

On a hectic day of politicking, Ukraine’s leaders announced a new coalition following October elections which affirmed that joining the NATO military alliance would be a priority. It agreed to pass a law by the end of the year confirming this intention.

Such a move threatens to further provoke Russia.

The five-party parliamentary coalition -- which will have a big enough majority to make constitutional changes -- features the groupings of President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and former premier Yulia Tymoshenko.

Poroshenko confirmed that pro-Western Yatsenyuk will keep his post to head the coalition government, which faces a mammoth task dealing with the gravest crisis in Ukraine’s post-Soviet history.