Over 100,000 people gathered to decry the government's sudden decision to pull out of an EU free trade deal.

Ukrainians have taken to the Kiev streets, protesting the government's sudden decision not to sign a free trade deal with the European Union. Over 100,000 opponents gathered last Sunday, waving the flags of opposition parties and the EU. These are the most significant protests since the 2004 Orange Revolution.

Protestors say President Viktor Yanukovych caved to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who threatened to restrict trade and cut off gas supplies if Ukraine joins the EU. Putin wants Ukraine to instead join the Russian-led "Customs Union," which includes Belarus and Kazakhstan. 

Yanukovych was ousted as Prime Minister during the Orange Revolution, and returned as president in 2010. Opposition leaders at the most recent string of protests say they will attempt to impeach the president if he doesn't sign the EU trade pact Friday.

Earlier today, prime minister Azarov told reporters that Russia suggested Ukraine delay the EU treaty signing and instead enter three way talks between itself, Russia, and the EU, adding, "we absolutely do not want to be a battlefield between the EU and Russia. We want to have good relations with both the EU and Russia."

A poster, calling to boycott Russian-made goods, is attached to a lamp post in Kiev, November 26, 2013. The poster reads "Don't buy Russian." (REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko)
A protester holds a EU flag as he takes part in a rally to support EU integration in front of the Ukrainian cabinet of ministers building in Kiev November 26, 2013. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich) 
Protesters clash with riot police during a rally to support European Union (EU) integration in central Kiev November 25, 2013 (REUTERS/Konstantin Chernichkin)
A woman treats riot policemen with chocolate during a rally in support of EU integration in front of the Ukrainian cabinet of ministers building in Kiev November 25, 2013. (REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko)
A protester kneels in front of police standing guard in front of the Ukrainian cabinet of ministers building during a rally in support of EU integration in Kiev November 25, 2013. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)
A man talks using speakers during a rally in support of EU integration in front of the Ukrainian cabinet of ministers building in Kiev November 25, 2013. (REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko) 
Riot policemen stand at an entrance of the Ukrainian cabinet of ministers building during a rally in support of EU integration in Kiev November 25, 2013. (REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko)
A protestor puts a blue handprint on a placard with a portrait of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich in a mark of protest as he takes part in a rally to support EU integration in central Kiev November 24, 2013. The banner reads "Ukraine for Yanukovich family." (REUTERS/Maks Levin)
Protesters clash with riot police during a rally to support EU integration in front of the Ukrainian cabinet of ministers building in Kiev November 24, 2013. (REUTERS/Konstantin Chernichkin)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  2. A toxic site in Niagara Falls, New York, seen from above.
    Environment

    The Toxic 'Blank Spots' of Niagara Falls

    The region’s “chemical genies” of the early 20th century were heralded as reaching into the future to create a more abundant life for all. Instead, they deprived future generations of their health and well-being.

  3. Transportation

    Europe's Intercity Bus Juggernaut Is Rolling Into the U.S.

    Flixbus is like the Uber of long-haul road travel. Could it reboot the American coach business?

  4. Equity

    The Story Behind the Housing Meme That Swept the Internet

    How a popular meme about neoliberal capitalism and fast-casual architecture owned itself.

  5. Navigator

    The Gentrification of City-Based Sitcoms

    How the future ‘Living Single’ reboot can reclaim the urban narrative ‘Friends’ ran off with.