Seen by many as “the largest pro-European rally in history”, the so-called EuroMaidan movement was nominated on Tuesday by the European Parliament for the 2014 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
“Sakharov Prize for EuroMaidan would empower the Ukrainians of today facing their lonely fight in those difficult moment when they are still fighting fro democracy and freedom.” said EPP Polish MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski.
The protests started last November in Maidan square, in the centre of Ukraine’s capital Kiev, but quickly spread across the country.
They led to the overthrow of the regime of former President Viktor Yanukovich, after he refused to sign the EU-Ukraine association agreement in favour of closer ties with Russia.
52 MEPs made the nomination for EuroMaidan, represented by journalists, musicians and activists.
“All of them did their own job daily standing on barricades or undertaking various activities in organising or bringing people together”. ALDE Lithuanian MEP Petras Austreviius.
The winner will be announced in October and the award ceremony will take place in Strasbourg on December 10.
The Sakharov prize, awarded each year by the European Parliament, was set up in 1988 to honour individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Last year the prize was awarded to Malala Yousafzaï, the Pakistani campaigner for girls’ education.