An anti-government protester smashes the statue of Vladimir Lenin with a sledgehammer in Kiev, Ukraine, 8 December 2013
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Ukraine crisis explained in 90 seconds

9 December 2013 Last updated at 13:38 GMT

Efforts are under way to defuse tensions in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, where riot police have been deployed on Independence Square, still occupied by thousands of anti-government demonstrators.

President Viktor Yanukovych says he is willing to take part in round table negotiations with the opposition; protesters are demanding the resignation of the government and fresh elections.

BBC Online's Europe analyst Laurence Peter explains the context of the crisis.

Video produced by Michael Hirst