'Ukraine Has Not Died Yet': Thousands sing national anthem at Kiev square on New Year's Eve

Opposition leaders had encouraged the gathering to show support for integration with Europe

At least 100,000 Ukrainians sang the country's national anthem together at Kiev's main square on New Year's Eve in a sign of support for integration with Europe.

Kiev's Maidan has been the scene of massive pro-European protests for more than a month, triggered by President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to ditch a key deal with the European Union.

Opposition leaders had called on Ukrainians to come to the Maidan on the New Year's Eve and sing the national anthem in an act of defiance and what they expected could be the record-breaking live singing of an anthem.

Tens of thousands, who thronged to Maidan and nearby streets, sang “Ukraine Has Not Died Yet” seconds after the New Year's countdown.

So far the greatest number of people — 121,653 — singing a national anthem at the same time was recorded in India in May 2013, according to the Guinness World Records.

Ukrainian activists said on Monday they have invited a Guinness official to attend the singing at the Maidan in order to log the attempt at the record.

Hundreds of thousands have been rallying at the Maidan since November when Yanukovych decided to ditch a key deal with the European Union. Many in Europe had hoped for closer ties with the EU, favouring Europe's democratic institutions over Russia's authoritarian government led by President Vladimir Putin for nearly 15 years. Pro-European activists have been living in tents on Kiev's barricaded main square for over a month now.

Many Ukrainians at the Maidan said they were expressing their political views by coming to celebrate the New Year there.

Serhiy Holota, who was at there with his wife and son, said they came because “it's important to be here with our people” as well as setting an example “for children to live in a free civil society.”

Sixty-four-year-old Tamara Tivonenko, who has taken part in protests at the Maidan since they began in November, said for her spending the New Year's there was her sign of support for the opposition.

“It's nice to be here on an ordinary day, and it's important to be here together with others on a holiday,” she said.

Like in Russia and many other former Soviet republics, the New Year is the most popular holiday of the year, often more widely celebrated than Christmas.

AP

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Arts and Entertainment
music
News
news

Sport
football

Follow the latest news and score as Chelsea take on Maribor at Stamford Bridge.

Life and Style
tech

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind"

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album