Ukraine Protesters Take Over City Hall, Demand President’s Resignation

Round-table parliamentary talks scheduled for Monday

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Gleb Garanich / Reuters

A man throws a flare in the direction of Interior Ministry members during a rally held by supporters of EU integration in Kiev, Dec. 1, 2013.

Amid calls of “revolution,” hundreds of thousands of protesters marched on the streets of the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Sunday, barricaded themselves inside City Hall and demanded the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovich.

The protests, ignited by the Yanukovich’s refusal on Nov. 21 to sign political and trade agreements with the E.U., flared up to a magnitude reminiscent of the Orange Revolution of 2004 after security forces violently cracked down on supporters over the weekend, the New York Times reports.

According to the BBC, parliamentary speaker Vlodymyr Rybak has announced that talks will be held between the government and opposition on Monday. He said that the President was “on the side of the people who are fully entitled to assemble for peaceful demonstrations and to express their views.”

Meanwhile, opposition leader and former boxing world champion Vitali Klitschko urged supporters not to give up control of central Kiev. The Kremlin has aggressively pressured Ukraine to join a customs union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan as an alternative to the E.U. accord.