Thousands Demanding Pro-EU Regulations in Ukraine

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After eight weeks of peaceful protests, violence broke out in Kiev’s main square.

Fed up with their current political system, which seems to be in favor of a pact with Russia, thousands of Ukrainians have gathered in Kiev’s main square to stage a pro-EU rally and protest against the beating of Yuriy Lutsenko, former minister and leader of the opposition. A few days ago, protesters clashed with the police and dozens of people were injured.

Joining the EU would have a major impact on all of the country’s regulations, including the restrictive Ukranian gambling laws currently in force, which were modeled after Russian legislation and prohibit casinos, as well as all forms of betting.

The government blocks all online gambling sites in Ukraine and people involved in illegal betting activities can even be arrested.

Protests turn violent

Protests started when president Viktor Yanukovych decided to back out of an important political treaty with the EU and strike a deal with Russia instead.

On Friday, the police used force against the protesters for the first time since the rallies broke out eight weeks ago. Yuriy Lutsenko, leader of the Third Ukrainian Republic and former interior minister, suffered a closed-head injury, concussion and hematomas.

Fewer people have shown up in Kiev’s main square during the New Year and Orthodox Christmas, but there are still thousands of Ukrainians dedicated to the cause. Local reporters believe the following weeks will be a test for the longevity of the protests.

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