'Euromaidan' protesters receive Lech Walesa Prize
PR dla Zagranicy
Kiev mayor and former heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko has received the Lech Walesa Prize from the former Solidarity leader on behalf of thousands of Ukrainian pro-West demonstrators.
Mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko (second right) receives the Lech Walesa Prize from the former President of Poland and leader of "Solidarity": photo - Adam WARZAWA
The award honoured the "consistency and determination of thousands of people in Ukraine who, despite personal risk, expressed their pro-European and pro-democratic dreams," Lech Walesa said at the ceremony in Gdansk, northern Poland on Monday.
The Lech Walesa Prize, established in 2008, is an international award given annually to organizations working for human rights and is worth the equivalent of 100,000 USD.
The protests in Independence Square in Kiev, or the 'Euromaidan' is it was called, began on the night of 21 November last year, demanding closer integration with the EU after the then president Viktor Yanukovich refused to sign an associate agreement with Brussels.
At least 79 people were killed and 570 injured in the crackdown that followed, with the demonstrations culminating in February with Yanukovich's resignation. (pg)