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" On the other hand, a November 2013 poll by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology showed 39% supporting the country's entry into the European Union and 37% supporting Ukraine's accession to the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.In December 2013, then Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov refuted the pro-EU poll numbers claiming that many polls posed questions about Ukraine joining the EU, and that Ukraine had never been invited to join the Union, but only to sign the Association Agreement.In late February 2014, Yanukovych and many other high government officials fled the country.Protesters gained control of the presidential administration and Yanukovych's private estate.The demonstrations began on the night of 21 November 2013, when protests erupted in the capital, Kiev, after the Ukrainian government suspended preparations for signing the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement with the European Union, to seek closer economic relations with Russia. Protesters also used tear gas and some fire crackers (according to the police, protesters were the first to use them). Escalating violence from government forces in the early morning of 30 November caused the level of protests to rise, with 400,000–800,000 protesters, according to Russia's opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, demonstrating in Kiev on the weekends of 1 December In the Russophone cities of Zaporizhzhya, Sumy, and Dnipropetrovsk, protesters also tried to take over their local government building, and were met with considerable force from both police and government supporters.
The Agreement on settlement of political crisis in Ukraine was signed by Vitaly Klitschko, Arseny Yatsenyuk, Oleh Tyahnybok.
Maidan is a Ukrainian word for "square, open space", ultimately from Arabic however, the EU leaders later stated that the agreement would not be ratified unless Ukraine addressed concerns over a "stark deterioration of democracy and the rule of law", including the imprisonment of Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuriy Lutsenko in 20.
On 25 September 2013 Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) Volodymyr Rybak stated he was sure that his parliament would pass all the laws needed to fit the EU criteria for the Association Agreement since, except for the Communist Party of Ukraine, "The Verkhovna Rada has united around these bills." According to Pavlo Klimkin, one of the Ukrainian negotiators of the Association Agreement, initially "the Russians simply did not believe (the association agreement with the EU) could come true.
Protests and clashes increased in January, after the Ukrainian parliament passed a group of anti-protest laws.
Protesters occupied government buildings in many regions of Ukraine, and several activists were killed in clashes on Hrushevskoho Street in Kiev. Riot police advanced towards Maidan and clashed with protesters but did not fully occupy it.
The signing was witnessed by the Foreign Ministers of Germany and Poland, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Radosław Sikorski, respectively, and the Director of the Continental Europe Department of the French Foreign Ministry, Eric Fournier.