KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Thousands of Ukrainian protesters on Monday blocked entrances to the government building and called for the ouster of the prime minister and his cabinet, as anger at the president's decision to ditch a deal for closer ties with the European Union gripped other parts of the country and threatened his rule.
The besieging of the building follows a huge rally in the capital by hundreds of thousands Ukrainians on Sunday. The rally was mostly peaceful, until a group of protesters tried to storm President Viktor Yanukovych's office. After hours of scuffles, police chased protesters away with tear gas and truncheons.
It was a violent police action against protesters early Saturday that galvanized the latest round of protests whose aim is to bring down the president and his government.
Protests have been held daily in Kiev since Yanukovych backed away from an agreement that would have established free trade and deepened political cooperation between Ukraine and the EU. He justified the decision by saying that Ukraine couldn't afford to break trade ties with Russia.