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Pro-government rally planned in Kiev amid protests

December 14, 2013

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s embattled leaders are planning to bring thousands of supporters to the center of Kiev to counter weeks-long street protests by the opposition.

Ukraine is facing a deep political crisis, with Kiev’s central square dotted by barricades and tents as protesters call for the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych. The demonstrations were sparked by his decision last month to freeze ties with the EU in favor of Moscow.

Negotiations between Yanukovych and opposition leaders brought few results Friday. Yanukovych offered an amnesty to protesters detained in the standoff, but the opposition demanded early presidential and parliamentary elections.

Humiliated by the constant presence of thousands of protesters in the center of the capital, government supporters planned a counter-rally Saturday on a nearby square.

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