Yanukovych was widely disliked in Ukraine's west but had some support in the east, where his native Russian is much more spoken, and in the south.
The rallies were initially peaceful but became violent in January 2014 after Parliament, dominated by Yanukovych's supporters, passed laws intended to repress the protests.
On 21 February, after a failed crackdown that killed as many as 100 people, Yanukovych made some concessions.
In response, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of Russia said that Yanukovych needed to stop behaving like a "doormat", and that further loan installments would be withheld.
The protesters fought with crude weapons (such as large rocks and bats), firearms, and improvised explosives (Molotov cocktails), In response, the chairman of the Ukrainian parliament, Volodymyr Rybak, announced the next day that he had signed a parliamentary decree condemning the use of force and urging all institutions (the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Cabinet of Ministers, etc.) to cease immediately all military actions against protesters.
At least 82 people were killed over the next few days, including 13 policemen; more than 1,100 people were injured.
The newly appointed interim government of Ukraine signed the EU association agreement and agreed to reform the country's judiciary and political systems, as well as its financial and economic policies.
The International Monetary Fund pledged more than billion in loans contingent on Ukraine's adopting those reforms.
A Russian political adviser, Sergey Markov, said, "Russia will do everything allowable by law to stop [the opposition] from coming to power." During a press conference on 3 April 2014, Ukraine's new interior minister, chief prosecutor, and top security chief implicated more than 30 Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) agents in the crackdown on protesters, saying that, in addition to taking part in the planning, the agents had flown shipments of large quantities of explosives into an airport near Kiev.
Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, the interim head of Ukraine's SBU state security agency, said the agents had been stationed in Kiev throughout the Euromaidan protests, had been provided with "state telecommunications" while residing at an SBU compound, and had kept in regular contact with Ukrainian security officials.