Ukraine leader heads to China, leaving turmoil at home
Tuesday, December 03, 2013 - 01:39
Dec. 3 - Turmoil continues on the streets of Ukraine, and in parliament, as embattled President Viktor Yanukovich flies to China in search of economic aid. Mana Rabiee reports.
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Embattled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich flew to China on Tuesday.
In search of aid to fend off a debt crisis in this former Soviet bloc nation.
He leaves as his government faces turmoil on the streets.
Scores have protested his decision to spurn closer trade ties with the European Union, under pressure from Russia.
A violent government crackdown on mass protests, Sunday, only made things worse.
In parliament, opposition leaders vented their anger.
(SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION PARTY SVOBODA LEADER, OLEH TYAHNIBOK, SAYING:
"You think people took to the streets because of money to protest against you. You are deeply wrong. People came out because you pissed them off because of your cynicism, your brutality. You pissed them off, you gangsters in uniform."
Sunday's protest was the biggest show of popular anger since Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004.
Prime Minister Azarov apologized for the use of force by police, but warned the crisis has the signs of a coup d'etat.
Yet thousands still man the barricades outside the main government building in the capital, Kiev, demanding the government step down.
(SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) LUTSK PROTESTER, VIKTOR, SAYING:
"Our demands are at a minimum the prime minister's resignation. The middle demand is the resignation of the prime minister and president, and the maximum is the new president sign the association agreement with the European Union."
Azarov wants to hold his cabinet meeting inside this very building on Wednesday - despite the blockade.
A move that may trigger another showdown.
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