KIEV— Ukrainian opposition leaders urged supporters at a rally on Sunday to stay on Kiev's main square through New Year and Christmas, as street protests appeared to be losing momentum.
About 100,000 people gathered at Kiev's Independence Square to demonstrate for the fifth weekend in a row against President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to shelve a trade deal the European Union and pursue closer ties with Russia.
Although it was a relatively strong showing — enough to fill the square and adjacent streets — the number was the lowest this month and about half the previous weekend's turnout, which was estimated at up to 200,000 people.
"We will not leave," Vitali Klitschko, a heavyweight boxing champion who leads the liberal UDAR (Punch) party, told the rally. "We will celebrate the New Year here and we will celebrate Christmas here."