STUDENT HUNGER STRIKE

 187019.11.2006

The student hunger strike was a protest action by young Ukrainians which sparked off the protest campaign in Ukraine in October 1990. The Kyiv Council of the Ukrainian Students’ Union made a public statement against the total power held by the Communist Party, as well as against the dragging of Ukraine into a new alliance treaty, and announced the beginning of a civic disobedience action from 1 October 1990. On the same day, students erected a tent city on Maidan Nezalezhnosti [Independence Square, though then still called October Revolution Square] in Kyiv, and a day later began a hunger strike. They were supported by several Deputies from the Verkhovna Rada, former political prisoners P. HOROKHIVSKY, S. KHMARA and O. MESHKO and others. On 12 October the hunger strikers called for a nationwide student strike. On 15 October numerous political actions and strikes were held by students and workers throughout the country, and another tent city was erected by 200 students outside the entrance to the Verkhovna Rada.  By that stage the demands of the students already included the holding of early elections to the Verkhovna Rada, the resignation of the Ukrainian Prime Minister, V. Masol and ensuring that young men did their military service on the territory of Ukraine.

On 17 October, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a Resolution partially meeting the demands of the students. The Prime Minister handed in his resignation. The hunger strike and other protest actions ended.

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