Ukraine Uses Cell Phones to Track Protesters

Government sends mass text warning to demonstrators
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2014 1:01 PM CST
Ukraine Uses Cell Phones to Track Protesters
Protesters shield themselves during clashes with police in central Kiev, Ukraine, Monday.   (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

Scourge of the modern protester: Ukraine demonstrators this morning got this text on their cell phones: “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance," reports the New York Times. The threat is clear enough, given that the government also made it a crime punishable by prison to take part in such demonstrations. But the attempt to scare away protesters didn't work—clashes with police continued in Kiev.

Protesters have been taking to the streets for two months now, angry that President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a trade pact with the EU in favor of stronger ties with Russia. An opposition leader arrived at Yanukovych's office today but was rebuffed by the leader, reports AP. Russia, meanwhile, accused European nations of encouraging the protests and demanded that they stop "meddling," reports Reuters. "The situation is spinning out of control," says Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (Read more Ukraine stories.)

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