Ukraine shows unity, avoids violence on Unification Day

Ukraine shows unity, avoids violence on Unification Day
# 22 January 2011 22:49 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Events marking the Unification Day were held calmly in Ukraine on Saturday with no provocations staged by the country’s opposition forces despite police fears, APA reports quoting RIA Novosti.

Several thousand opposition members gathered in Kiev to mark the Ukrainian Unification Day, when the declaration of 1919 was signed uniting the Ukrainian lands.

People formed ’human chains’ symbolizing the unity of the nation. No public order violations were registered by police.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Anatoliy Mohyliov said earlier provocations which could lead to bloodshed were planned on Saturday. The opposition claimed no actions were expected.

Some 2,300 police and Interior Ministry troops ensured security during Saturday’s event.

Speaking to the nation, President Viktor Yanukovych said: "As the head of the state I am doing everything to make the Ukrainian citizens feel like a single family."

He urged Ukraine to unite saying that unity was the key to the country’s competitiveness in the world.

Earlier on Saturday, Ukraine’s opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko also called on the country’s opposition forces to unite.

"We must unite. Our chance is the next parliamentary democratic election," she said.