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Attack on Lenin Statue Heightens Tensions in Kiev

World | December 9, 2013, Monday // 07:44| Views: 692 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Attack on Lenin Statue Heightens Tensions in Kiev Protesters, who oppose a customs union with Russia, toppled a statue of Lenin and smashed it with hammers. Photo by BBC News

Protesters' attack on Lenin statue in Kiev, symbol of Ukraine's shared history with Russia, has heightened tension in capital, correspondents have reported.

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Sunday evening seeking the resignation of the government for refusing a deal on closer ties with the European Union.

Protesters, who oppose a customs union with Russia, toppled a statue of Lenin and smashed it with hammers.

Others stood by chanting "glory to Ukraine".

One opposition MP, Andriy Shevchenko, tweeted: "Goodbye, Communist legacy!"

The opposition party of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has urged people to "chase" the president "until he falls".

"We are on a razor's edge between a final plunge into cruel dictatorship and a return home to the European community," Tymoshenko said in a message to the crowd read out by her daughter.

"Don't give in, not a step back, don't give up, the future of Ukraine is in your hands," the message read.

Another opposition leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, said: "It's not just a simple revolution. It's a revolution of dignity."

Opposition MP Serhiy Pashynskyy said that "starting from today and until our demands are met, the government quarter will be blocked with protest rallies".

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Tags: Ukraine, Lenin, Viktor Yanukovych, pro-EU protests, Kiev
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