Ukrainian protesters demand release of jailed ex-Prime Minister Tymoshenko

Thousands of people demonstrated in central Kiev for a fifth straight day on Wednesday to protest the Ukrainian government's decision not to sign an agreement with the European Union but to restore ties with Russia instead.

About 5,000 people were on Independence Square, listening to music and singing, several hours before the evening's demonstration was scheduled to start. Tuesday night's protests drew an estimated 7,000 people.

Earlier Wednesday, a couple of thousand demonstrators rallied outside the Ukrainian government building to call for the release of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

The EU had made the release of Tymoshenko, the political rival of President Viktor Yanukovych, a condition for signing the political and trade agreement.