Ukraine's president has approved legislation to purge government bodies of officials linked to the rule of the country's previous leader, Viktor Yanukovych.

President Petro Poroshenko's office said in a statement Thursday that the law is aimed at restoring public trust in authorities.

Yanukovych was overthrown in February after months of sometimes violent protests ignited by widespread discontent over corruption and maladministration.

The prime minister says around 1 million people could be affected by the law.

Similar initiatives were pursued in many former Soviet bloc nations in the early 1990s as post-independence governments sought to overturn the legacy of decades of communist rule.

Critics of Ukraine's law say the public nature of the purge amounts to a political witch hunt. Prosecutors have warned the legislation may be unconstitutional.