Dec. 3 - Ukrainian protesters demonstrate outside the parliament building as opposition leaders try to push bills calling for early presidential and parliamentary elections. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Ukrainian opposition protesters gathered outside the country's parliament building in central Kiev on Tuesday (December 3) urging the country's politicians to back a bill to call an early parliament. It marks the 13th day of demonstrations across Ukraine, as hundreds of thousands of protesters seek to force President Viktor Yanukovich from office after his decision to abandon an EU integration pact. His decision to abandon a trade pact with the European Union and instead seek closer economic ties with Russia has stirred deep passions in a country where many people yearn to join the European mainstream and escape Moscow's orbit. At the insistence of the opposition, parliament is scheduled on Tuesday to discuss and vote on whether to allow a motion of no confidence in the government. It needs to muster 226 parliamentarians for any vote and usually gets far less. A large police presence could be seen outside parliament as protesters used their own cars to block roads leading to the building. Demonstrations on Saturday (November 30) and Sunday (December 1), which saw violent clashes with the police, drew as many as 350,000 people, the biggest public rally in the ex-Soviet state since the Orange Revolution against corruption and electoral fraud nine years ago. But in a sign that he felt the security situation was under control, though, Yanukovich announced he would stick to a plan to travel on Tuesday to China, from which he is seeking loans and investment to avert a debt crisis.