Over a thousand people gathered in downtown Kiev on Wednesday to protest Ukraine’s bid for mandatory vaccination and new restrictions.
Ukraine has recently reported a record number of daily coronavirus cases and deaths, while only 20 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated.
Protesters gathered outside the parliament building in the capital Kiev before briefly blocking traffic in the city center.
In the rain, they held posters that read, “No to vaccinations,” “No to medical experiments, protect our children.”
Some held posters depicting a crying baby surrounded by syringes.
“I do not want to be vaccinated with a vaccine developed in an emergency, it does not give me any confidence,” said Nataliya Golubtsova, a 62-year-old pensioner.
Another protester, Olena Makovyk, 50, called the vaccination a “medical experiment.”
“We are not addicted to piercing ourselves every six months!” said Makovyk, a shop assistant.
There was a strong police presence, but no clashes.
The former Soviet country reported 720 new deaths from coronavirus on Wednesday, the third highest number in the world after the United States and Russia.
The new daily cases reached a pandemic record of 26,870 last week and were at more than 23,000 on Wednesday.
After initially trying to secure a supply of vaccines, Ukraine now has three injections available – AstraZeneca, Pfizer and CoronaVac made in China, but is trying to persuade Ukrainians to get vaccinated.
Currently more than 250,000 people are being vaccinated every day.
Ukraine has registered more than 2.9 million cases of coronavirus and 69,000 deaths.
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