A protest camp emerges outside Euro 2012 fan zone in Kiev
June 17, 2012
If soccer fans aren’t seeing enough action on the field in the European Championships, they can get a dose of rough-and-tumble Ukrainian politics near the fan zone in Kiev.
Supporters of Yulia Tymoshenko, the imprisoned former prime minister and the country’s top opposition figure, have gathered in a protest camp next to a special area where fans mingle, drinking beer and watching matches on giant screens. On display at the camp is an effigy of a judge, a pile of mock human waste and a plastic pig with the president’s face.
The championships already are being boycotted by Western leaders to protest Tymoshenko’s imprisonment. And the protesters hope their eye-catching camp will further raise pressure on President Viktor Yanukovych to release her.
“We are showing what our government is really like,” said Ivan Shibko, a top activist at the Tymoshenko camp. “They are doing this to keep opposition leaders in jail during elections.”