Several thousand supporters of Western integration braved swirling winds and a heavy snowfall to maintain control of the capital's iconic Independence Square for the seventh successive day.
    
Some volunteers wrapped themselves in wool blankets as they handed out meals from a makeshift kitchen to the crowd. Others swept up garbage around a few dozen tents set up between barricades on the sprawling square.
    
Protest organizers expect up to 3, 00,000 to turn out on Sunday for the largest demonstration since the 2004 pro-democracy Orange Revolution first nudged the former Soviet nation of 46 million closer to the West.
    
The embattled Ukrainian President held unannounced talks with Putin in Russia yesterday after completing a mission to China aimed at drumming up backing for his cash-strapped government.

(Agencies)

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