Dec. 11 - The U.S. is considering sanctions agaisnt Ukraine following a violent crackdown on peaceful protesters in Kiev. Mana Rabiee reports.
Riot police in the Ukrainian capitol Kiev moved in on protesters overnight. It was the most forceful attempt by authorities to reclaim the streets after weeks of mass unrest. In response, the U.S. State department is considering sanctions against Ukraine and the White House condemned the show of force. (SOUNDBITE) - WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN, JOSH EARNEST, SAYING: "The United States was appalled last night by what happened in Kiev. The Ukrainian government's response to peaceful protests over the last two weeks has been completely unacceptable." Protesters in this former Soviet republic are angry over President Viktor Yanukovich's decision to spurn a trade deal with the European Union, under pressure from Russia. Yanukovich addressed the nation on Wednesday, calling on the opposition to work towards political compromise. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, VIKTOR YANUKOVICH, SAYING: "I'm calling on representatives of all political forces, reverend fathers, civil society representatives to an overall national dialogue. I'm personally ready to take part in such roundtable." But the opposition answered back by saying there can BE no talks with Yanukovich for now. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) LEADER OF OPPOSITION BATKIVSHCHYNA PARTY, ARSENIY YATSENYUK, SAYING: "It's not for political leaders to decide but for the people who stay in Independence Square to decide. We should take the mandate from the people to have any talks." Opposition leaders are calling for Yanukovich to resign. They want what they say are political prisoners released and riot police behind the recent violence punished.