Ukraine protesters hold firm, defying riot police

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By Alissa de Carbonnel KIEV (Reuters) - Thousands of Ukrainian protesters huddled by braziers in their tented camp in the snowbound capital Kiev into Tuesday morning, in defiance of riot police who took up positions throughout the capital as a deadline to clear the streets expired. In a second week of protests against President Viktor Yanukovich's decision to abandon a trade deal with the EU in favor of closer ties with Russia, demonstrators feared the arrival of riot police heralded a plan to crush them by force. "If blood is spilled during this dispersing, this blood will be on the hands of the person who ordered it ... Yanukovich." Yanukovich is expected to meet the EU foreign affairs chief on Tuesday as well as three former Ukrainian presidents who have proposed talks. But in a sign of a firm hand, masked police raided the office of Fatherland, a major opposition party whose jailed leader Yulia Tymoshenko the EU considers a political prisoner.