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Kiev anti-government protest draws 100,000

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 22, 2013 at 9:19 a.m.


Pro-European Union activists gather during a rally in Independence Square around posters of jailed Ukrainian former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. Ukraine has been stricken with mass protests for over a month. Protesters are demanding President Viktor Yanukovych's resignation over his decision to ditch a pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

KIEV — About 100,000 demonstrators are gathering in the center of the Ukrainian capital to demand the ouster of the president and government, as mass anti-government protests enter their second month.

The rallies that have turned Kiev into a giant protest encampment were sparked by President Viktor Yanukovych's decision last month to choose ties with Russia over the West. After dozens were injured in violent police crackdown on a peaceful rally, the protests turned against Yanukovych himself.

Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko urged the crowd on Sunday to spend the New Year and the following weeks on Kiev's Independence Square to force Yanukovych into early presidential and parliamentary elections. Other leaders are announcing plans to transform the protests into a nationwide civic movement.

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