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John McCain in Ukraine to meet with protesters

Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 01:36

As Ukrainians prepare for a mass anti-government rally, a top U.S. Republican senator on foreign policy meets with the opposition. Mana Rabiee reports.

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In the Ukrainian capitol Kiev, protesters prepare for what they say will be a mass anti-government rally on Sunday. Demonstrations that began weeks ago over the government's decision to scrap a European trade deal have morphed into something else... …an all-out movement against President Viktor Yanukovich and his administration. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) IVAN, ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATORS SAYING: "I think this rally will be much bigger tomorrow than today because people continue arriving. They have left their jobs, their families and their homes." The protests have led to sometimes violent clashes with riot police… …and now the threat of U.S. sanctions if the violence continues. U.S. Senator John McCain -- a leading Republican voice on foreign policy -- spent time with opposition leaders on Saturday. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN, SAYING: "I am having very good meetings and I am looking forward to meeting with our opposition leaders tonight and tomorrow and on the square and I am proud of the people of Ukraine and their steadfast efforts for democracy for their country." Russia has criticized the West for excessive involvement in Ukraine's protests. It says demonstrators are overreacting to their country's pivot towards Russia. Just a few hundred meters away from Sunday's planned rally, tens of thousands of pro-government supporters rally for President Yanukovich - a line of riot police separating the two groups.

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John McCain in Ukraine to meet with protesters

Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 01:36