More than 100,000 people, according to the Ukrainian police, and up to 1 million, according to the opposition, packed the streets in downtown Kiev to demand the immediate resignation of the government of Nikolai Azarov and the holding of expected parliamentary and presidential elections.
The opposition extended to the majority of the official buildings of Kiev's so-called "government quarter" the protesters' camp established a week ago in Independence Square, where thousands of opposition supporters have been spending the nights in tents surrounded by barricades.
Thousands of people set up new camps and barricades at the access points to the main government buildings in the capital.
The Ukrainian Security Service announced the opening of another criminal case for "actions directed toward the taking of state power," a crime that, according to the Ukrainian Constitution, runs counter to national security and may be punished with up to 10 years behind bars.
The Ukrainian opposition called the opening of the new investigation a "provocation" by the security service, while the leader of the opposition Batkivshina Party, Arseni Yatseniuk, said that the government of President Viktor Yanukovych is preparing to declare a state of emergency.
In fact, the takeover or blockading of government buildings, acts of public disorder and attempting to take power, which the security service is already investigating, are legal reasons to declare a state of emergency.
Independence Square, the heart of the massive protest, one of the largest in the modern history of Ukraine, is only a part of the so-called "March of a Million."
The leaders of the European opposition, who are unwilling to forgive Yanukovych for refusing to sign the Association Accord with the European Union, also demanded that he release the people arrested in the violent clearing of the plaza last weekend and punish those responsible for that repressive act.
"We must now express our vision of the future, our lack of respect for the current authorities. And we're calling a strike," the leader of the UDAR party, famous heavyweight boxer Vitali Klitschko, told the gathered protesters. EFE