Thousands protest in Ukraine, defying court ban

A priest holds a crucifix as he takes part in a pro-European rally on Independence Square in Kyiv, Jan. 19, 2014.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators have massed in central Kyiv in defiance of Ukraine\’s new legislation that significantly limits their right to protest.
Sunday\’s rally came after supporters of President Viktor Yanukovych pushed through legislation meant to quash rallies calling for Yanukovych\’s ouster.
Anti-government protesters have filled the streets of Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities since November when President Yanukovych reversed positions and refused to sign a trade deal with the European Union, opting instead for stronger ties with Russia. Since then, Moscow has promised to buy $15 billion in Ukrainian debt and cut the price of Russian gas to Ukraine to strengthen the struggling economy.
Source: VOA and agencies
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