Protesters in Kiev topple a statue of Lenin

Protesters in Kiev topple a statue of Lenin

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Anti-government protesters toppled a statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in Ukraine's capital and attacked it with hammers on Sunday in a symbolic challenge to President Viktor Yanukovich and his plans for closer ties with Russia.

The gesture rejecting Moscow's historic influence over Ukraine came after opposition leaders told hundreds of thousands of demonstrators on Kiev's Independence Square to keep up pressure on Yanukovich to sack his government.

The protesters are furious that the government decided last month to ditch a landmark pact with the European Union in favour of closer economic cooperation with Moscow, Ukraine's Soviet-era overlord. (Reuters)

Photos from the Pro-EU Ukrainians protest in Kiev.

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