WASHINGTON — Ukrainian protesters have blockaded the country’s main government building today and whose strike could bring down the current government, led by President Viktor Yanukovich.
Reuters reported that after Yanukovich bowed down to Russian demands and threats, withdrawing from a monumental trade pact with the European Union, pro-EU protesters took to the streets to demand a change in power and in policy.
Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians went to the capital city of Kiev to protest the reversal, which many saw as a political move to placate Russia. Russia provides Ukraine with most of its gas and oil and threatened to cut it off if Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, would turn to the West for economic aid.
Some estimated at least 350,000 Ukrainians flooded the streets, which led to violent clashes between police and protesters. This is the biggest protest movement since the “Orange Revolution” in 2004, which overturned a stolen election.
Pictures of protesters flooded the Internet and social media sites, and attempts to topple a statue of Lenin was stopped by riot police.