KIEV, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Monday called for dialogue and compromise to peacefully end the massive protests after the weekend rally, called in part to protest a sweeping anti-protest law, turned violent.
"I urge dialogue, compromise and calm in our native land," Yanukovych said in his address to the nation posted on the presidential website.
Describing the ongoing political unrest as a "threat to the whole country," Yanukovych pledged to do his best to ensure the public order and protect the rights of civilians.
Yanukovych said, "I appeal to Kiev citizens and other participants of mass rallies. I ask you not to go after those who call for violence, who is willing to provoke the split between state and society, who wants to throw the Ukrainian people into the furnace of mass riots."
Yanukovych urged the people to refrain from violence, saying only peaceful instruments and hard work may ensure high living standards in Ukraine, while war and cruelty will destroy the country.
Earlier in the day, Yanukovych ordered the formation of a working group to find a way out of the crisis that blew up in November and escalated on Sunday, when demonstrators attacked riot police with sticks, fireworks and smoke bombs. Police responded with tear gas.
The protests, which have been largely peaceful in the past two months, began after Yanukovych put on hold a long-planned political and economic treaty with the European Union and instead accepted a huge bailout package from Russia.
KIEV, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Anti-government protesters clashed with police in central Kiev for a second day on Monday after the weekend rally, called in part to protest new laws limiting public assembly, turned violent.
Demonstrators have occupied the capital's Independence Square and European Square, erecting barricades and building special devices for throwing stones and "Molotov cocktails" at law enforcement officers. Some protesters pelted police with burning rags and petrol bombs. Full story