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100,000 demonstrate in Kiev as anti-government protests to demand early vote enter 2nd month

  • Ukraine-Protest-52

    Pro-European Union activists warm themselves by a fire prior a rally in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. Protesters in Kiev are demanding the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych over his decision to ditch a pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Ukraine-Protest-53

    Pro-European Union activists gather during a rally in Independence Square 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)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Ukraine-Protest-54

    Pro-European Union activists gather Sunday in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Ukraine-Protest-55

    A pro-European Union activist attends a rally in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. Protesters in Kiev 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/Sergei Grits)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Ukraine-Protest-56

    A pro-European Union activist attends a rally in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. Protesters in Kiev 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/Sergei Chuzavkov)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Ukraine-Protest-57

    Pro-European Union activists warm themselves by a fire prior a rally in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. Protesters in Kiev 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/Sergei Chuzavkov)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Ukraine-Protest-58

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

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Ukraine-Protest-59

    Ukrainian lawmaker and chairman of the Ukrainian opposition party Udar (Punch), WBC heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko is greeted by Pro-European Union activists during a rally in the Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. Protesters in Kiev 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/Sergei Grits)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Ukraine-Protest-60

    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)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ukraine-Protest-54

Pro-European Union activists gather Sunday in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

KIEV, Ukraine — 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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