Ukrainian Protesters Hire PR Company to Boost Image in Russia

A public relations company in Russia said it had been hired by activists in Ukraine to promote the anti-government movement that’s erected a tent camp in the heart of Kiev.

RIM Porter Novelli, the Moscow affiliate of New York-based Porter Novelli Inc., is helping arrange visits for journalists from nine countries to Independence Square, the focal point of demonstrations against President Viktor Yanukovych, according to an invitation sent today by e-mail. Backers of the Civic Platform Maydan protest movement will fund the trips, according to the invitation.

“RIM Porter Novelli has been called in to represent Civic Platform Maydan and provide advice on media relations,” Andrey Zuev, who’s acting for the company on behalf of the protesters, said by e-mail. He declined to name the people funding the initiative.

Yanukovych is seeking to weather the biggest street demonstrations in almost a decade, which began after he snubbed a European integration accord in favor of a $15 billion Russian bailout. About 50,000 demonstrators turned up to a rally Jan. 13 in Kiev, according to opposition parties, reiterating demands for early elections that have so far been ignored by the government.

RIM Porter Novelli’s other clients have included Russia’s ruling United Russia party founded by President Vladimir Putin, who’d opposed Ukraine’s planned deal with the EU.

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