Several thousand trade union activists have marched through the streets of Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, to the country's parliament t to protest an upcoming hike in utility prices.

The government abolished preferential tariffs for private citizens in April, and the higher prices are expected in September. Although it is not clear how steep the hike will be, trade union activists worry that the growing utility bills will eat up their flagging salaries.

Ukraine's economy has been in decline since Russia annexed Crimea and threw its backing to separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman met with protest leaders on Wednesday and pledged to find a compromise solution.