Dec. 1 - Violence erupts as Ukrainians hold mass rally against Yanukovich's U-turn on Europe. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians shouting "Down with the Gang!" rallied on Sunday (December 1) against President Viktor Yanukovich's U-turn on Europe and some used a building excavator to try to break through police lines at his headquarters.
The rally, by far the biggest seen in the Ukrainian capital since the Orange Revolution nine years ago, came a day after a police crackdown on protesters that inflamed demonstrators further after Yanukovich's policy switch.
Last month Yanukovich - after months of pressure from former Soviet master Russia - backpedalled from signing a landmark deal on closer relations with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Moscow.
To try to defuse tensions before Sunday's rally, Yanukovich issued a statement saying he would do everything in his power to speed up Ukrainian moves toward the EU.
In a sea of blue and gold, the colors of both the EU and Ukrainian flags, protesters swept into Kiev's Independence Square to hear heavyweight boxer-turned-opposition politician Vitaly Klitschko call for Yanukovich to resign.
The interior minister warned that police would respond to any disorder and said Ukraine had no place among the ranks of countries like Libya or Tunisia, where Arab popular uprisings overthrew autocratic old guard leaderships.
Sunday's rally also marked the anniversary of a 1991 referendum that ushered in Ukraine's independence from the then-crumbling Soviet Union.
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