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Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine's president, paid a visit to Vladimir Putin Friday afternoon, in a move likely to stoke protests against his government, with opposition forces calling for a million-strong march through Kiev on Sunday.
The capital has been paralysed for a week as protesters have occupied government buildings in the city centre and barricaded Independence Square, the hub of the 2004 Orange Revolution. The protests were sparked by Yanukovych's decision to suspend work on an integration agreement with the EU, due to be signed last week, in favour of improving relations with Russia.
In Lviv, a western Ukrainian city where support for European integration is almost unanimous
thousands of residents plan to travel to Kiev on a convoy of buses to take part in the weekend protest rallies.