The anti-government movement in Kiev started in protest at Yanukovych's decision in late November to pull out of a landmark treaty with the EU, but has expanded to demand his resignation. Escalating violence from government forces in the early morning of 30 November caused the level of protests to rise, with 400,000–800,000 protesters demonstrating in Kiev on the weekends of 1 December and 8 December. In the weeks since, protest attendance has fluctuated from 50,000 to 200,000 during organized rallies. In response to anti-protest laws announced on 16 January 2014 and enacted on 21 January in Ukraine, a standoff between protesters and police began on 19 January that was precipitated by a series of riots in central Kiev on Hrushevskoho Street, outside Dynamo Stadium and adjacent to the ongoing Euromaidan protests. Violent riots took place January 19 through 25 in response to police brutality and government repression. Since 23 January several Western Ukrainian Oblast (province) Governor buildings and regional councils have been occupied in a revolt by Euromaidan activists. In cities of Zaporizhzhya, Sumy, and Dnipropetrovsk, protesters also tried to take over their local government building, but were met with considerable police brutality and force.
Aleksey Solodunov / Dmitriy Stoykov