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EU suspends Ukraine trade deal plans amid protests

The EU says it is putting on hold work on a key trade agreement with Ukraine, saying the government's arguments have "no grounds in reality". Protesters have taken to the streets in support of the agreement, which was rejected by the government.

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Hundreds of thousands attend rally in Kiev

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gathered on Kiev's Independence Square, protesting against President Viktor Yanukovich and his plans for closer ties with Russia.

The protesters are furious that the government decided to ditch a landmark pact with the European Union in favour of closer economic cooperation with Moscow, Ukraine's Soviet-era overlord.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Kiev. Credit: REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

A group of protesters managed to topple a statue of Lenin in the centre of the city.

The 3,5 metre high statue of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution leader had stood there since 1946. Opposition leaders denied any link to its removal.

The statue was toppled and decapitated. Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

The demonstrators have erected blockades to defend the central Independence Square - now transformed into a tent village, sustained by donations of food and clothing - from any police attempt to retake it.

The crowed filled the entire square. Credit: REUTERS/Inna Sokolovska

After last weekend's violent clashes between riot police and protesters, the atmosphere was calmer.

Near the presidential office, facing heavily-shielded riot police, protesters took turns playing a piano with EU sign on it.

A piano was brought to the protest. Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

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