Ukrainian protesters topple Lenin statue in Kiev

KIEV Sun Dec 8, 2013 4:22pm GMT

KIEV Dec 8 (Reuters) - Ukrainian protesters angry over their government's decision to seek closer economic ties with Russia instead of with the European Union toppled a statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in Kiev on Sunday.

The statue has symbolic importance as it underlines Ukraine's shared history with Russia, which is now trying to persuade Kiev to join a new Moscow-led customs union.

A Reuters reporter at the scene saw the protesters breaking up the statue with hammers after toppling it with the help of metal bars and rope. The move came after an anti-government rally in Kiev attended by hundreds of thousands of people.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, writing by Gareth Jones; editing by Andrew Roche)