Protesters heckle Ukrainian President

The relatives are frustrated by Mr Poroshenko’s failure to bring officials of the previous government to justice

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The Independent Online

The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was shouted down by angry relatives of 100 protesters killed in Kiev’s “Euromaidan” revolution at a ceremony yesterday paying tribute to the victims.

The relatives, frustrated by Mr Poroshenko’s failure to bring officials of the previous government to justice, shouted, “Down with Poroshenko”, “Who is a hero for you, Poroshenko?” and “Where are their killers?” They also attacked him for failing to keep a promise to confer the title of national hero on the victims, which would bring financial benefits to their families.

It was the first real public display of anger against Mr Poroshenko, who was elected President in May after the pro-Moscow leader Viktor Yanukovych fled the country.

Yesterday, the US Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Ukraine and was due to make a visit to the area off Kiev’s Independence Square but called it off, apparently for security reasons. Touring Kiev, he said Western sanctions would not be lifted against Russia until Moscow did more to enforce a ceasefire agreement signed in September.


More than 900 people have been killed and fighting has continued in eastern Ukraine since the supposed truce began.

“If Russia were to fulfil these commitments and respect Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, we could begin a discussion about sanctions,” said Mr Biden. “But instead we’ve seen more provocative actions, more blatant disregard for the agreement... And as long as that continues, Russia will face a rising cost and greater isolation.”

Yesterday marked the first anniversary of the decision by the Yanukovych government to abandon a political and free trade agreement with the European Union in favour of renewed trade ties with Russia. Before the confrontation with the relatives, Mr Poroshenko laid candles with other members of the government on a hill off Independence Square – locally known as the Maidan – where more than 50 of the 100 or so dead were killed in February.