Kyiv demonstrators occupy government buildings as Ukraine president appeals for calm

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Thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in Kyiv’s Independence Square on Monday and hundreds more occupied government buildings.

The protests are against President Viktor Yanukovych’s policy U-turn on Europe.

Yanukovych called on Monday for only peaceful rallies and appealed to both protesters and police to observe the law.

“Any bad peace is better than a good war”, he said.

Hundreds more broke into Kyiv’s city hall and were occupying the building on Monday evening. The protesters also blocked the entrances to the Cabinet of Ministers building.

Nationalist leader Oleh Tyahniboh told crowds “Today literally 40 minutes ago, our boys took the Kiev Council.”

Yanukovych plans to leave Ukraine on Tuesday on a scheduled four-day state visit to China.

In Kyiv, euronews correspondent Maria Korenyuk has the latest.

“Roads to almost all governmental institutions in Kiev are blocked with human chains. The movement of traffic along the few main roads of the centre is blocked. Today the protests have been peaceful. Coordinators call on people not to respond to provocations and not to let peaceful protest to turn to violent clashes.”

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