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Ukraine capital Kiev readies for protest as focus moves to occupied city hall

Published on Feb 16, 2014 11:34 AM
Anti-government protesters march in the streets of Kiev, on Feb 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

KIEV (AFP) - Anti-government protesters in Kiev readied for a new, mass demonstration on Sunday, amid expectations that the capital's occupied city hall could soon be vacated in what would be a highly symbolic move.

The protest on Kiev's central Independence Square, which kicks off at 1000 GMT (6pm Singapore time), is the 11th since demonstrators first rose up against President Viktor Yanukovych in November when he rejected a key EU pact in favour of closer ties with Russia.

And while the opposition had promised to prepare a mysterious "peaceful offensive" at the rally, both protesters and authorities have since made concessions in a bid to ease tensions.

On Friday, authorities announced they had freed all 234 protesters detained in the movement, adding that charges against them would also be dropped if conditions of a recent amnesty law were met.

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