Some 1,000 representatives of Ukraine's National Academy of Sciences have picketed the government building in Kyiv, demanding more financial support for their work.

The protesters held placards saying "When scientists are hungry, countries collapse," "Scientists are beggars," and "Saving on your science leads to feeding someone else's economy."

The picketers blocked several central streets, slowing traffic for several hours, RFE/RL reports.

The protesters say scientists in Ukraine continue leaving the country -- many for the United States and Russia -- due to low salaries and insufficient state support.

According to the chairman of the academy's unions, Anatoliy Shyrokov, the government's allocations to researchers this year were tens of millions of dollars short of what the academy had requested.

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