People gathering in Kiev's Independence Square for March of Millions

14:50 • 08.12.13

People are gradually arriving at Kiev's Independence Square for the March of Millions slated for noon on Sunday, the Voice of Russia reports.

There are several thousand people in the main square of the city and more continue arriving, witnesses report.

Music bands perform and activists speak up from the stage.

Participants are carrying the national flags of Ukraine and the EU, red-and-black flags of Ukrainian nationalists and symbols of opposition parties.

The tent camp of the protesters continues to function with field kitchens offering meals and people warming up around fires made in trash bins.

Ukrainian opposition has called for a new round of rallies called “veche,” or a popular assembly, that is expected to draw pro-EU integration masses to the heart of the Ukrainian capital in Independence Square.

The protest, which will be the third event of its kind over the past 17 days, is due on Sunday noon (10 am GMT). It is expected to attract people mostly from the country's Europe-oriented western reaches.

Arseny Yatsenyuk, leader of the Tymoshenko-founded Batkyvshchina Party, said the rally would be “the third round of Ukrainians’ fight for their rights.”

UDAR party’s chief and reigning boxing champion Vitali Klitschko has called on the supporters of the EU association accord to come to the veche, saying “at least a million of us should come.” He urged those who couldn’t come to Kiev as soon as possible to take to the streets of their native cities and “demonstrate their intent to live in a common European country, which is Ukraine.”

Ukrainian police estimated the newly staged Saturday rally brought about 10,000 protesters to Independence Square, also known as Maidan, with further 3,000 people rallying outside the parliament building.

As of now, media report Kiev is being “mobilized” ahead of the protests. Activists of the country’s Ukrainian Youth Movement yesterday lined the roads near Brovarsky and Pobeda Avenues, carrying posters that read “Go to Maidan tomorrow noon.” Similar events to draw public attention towards the upcoming veche were also staged outside large shopping malls and subway stations.

Ukraine’s ruling party of Regions has meanwhile attempted a rapprochement with the opposition, calling it to a dialog on the nation’s future.

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