Tens of thousands of Ukrainians rallied in support of President Viktor Yanukovich in central Kiev on Saturday, separated by riot police from anti-government protesters who have camped out for weeks in a nearby square.
Less than a day after talks between the government and the opposition failed to resolve the political crisis, Yanukovich's supporters waved the blue flags of his Party of Regions and chanted the president's name, while many others were arriving in Kiev for a mass opposition protest planned on Sunday.
Rival demonstrators have been camping since Nov. 21 in Independence Square - now known as the "Maidan", meaning "Square", or the "Euro-maidan" - in protest against Yanukovich's last minute refusal to sign an agreement bringing Ukraine closer to the European Union, in favour of Russia. The protest has since grown in strength and turned into an all-out movement against the president and his administration.
Ukrainian Prime Minister "Mykola Azarov" told supporters that "any conflicts should and can only be solved by the negotiating table".