Protestors in Toledo call for end to violence in Ukraine - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Protestors in Toledo call for end to violence in Ukraine

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Across Ohio Saturday, including Toledo, there were calls to end the killing and torture of Ukrainian citizens.

Protestors are calling on Congress to restore democracy in a country experiencing widespread terror.

Local protestors carried signs, held Ukrainian flags and chanted 'United We Stand for Ukraine' outside Toledo's Federal Courthouse.

They're appalled by clashes between protestors and security forces this week in Kiev that have left dozens dead.

"The Ukrainian constitution allows for these people to have the right for peaceful assembly and right of free speech and these folks are exercising that right to stop graft and corruption in Ukraine and they're being murdered for it," said Toledo protestor Rob Schaller.

Protests began late last year after President Viktor Yanukovych backed away from a deal for closer ties with Europe in favor of deeper relations with Russia.

The Ohio protests are urging Congress to support the freeing of all political dissidents held by the Ukrainian government for exercising their right to free speech.

In addition, Congress is being told it's time for Ukraine to be truly independent from Russia and it's time to end what local protestors call the 'thugery' of secret police.

"This is something that is a reflection of when you don't have a democracy in a country. People are shot and killed and we are here to protest that," said Ramon Perez.

The Ukrainian parliament has voted to remove President Yanukovych from office and hold new elections.

But he says it was a coup and won't step down.

The White House is welcoming the latest developments and urging swift formation of a unity government.

Saturday's developments were the result of a European-brokered peace deal between the President and opposition.

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