Thousands in Ukrainian capital protest president's decision to ditch pact with the EU

Thousands of demonstrators are gathering in Ukraine's capital after a deal that could have brought closer ties to the EU was shelved.

Protesters are calling for the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych, who ditched the free trade pact with the EU at Friday's summit in favor of closer ties with Russia.

Yanukovych abruptly changed the course for integration with the EU, drawing massive anger in Ukraine, where nearly half of the population favors closer ties with the EU. He says Ukraine can't afford to sacrifice trade with Russia for closer ties to the EU.

The protests in Kiev revived memories of the 2004 Orange Revolution which overturned Yanukovych's fraud-tainted victory in a presidential vote and brought a pro-Western president to power. Yanukovych claimed presidency in a 2010 vote.