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Pro-EU Ukrainian protesters on Sunday toppled a statue of the Soviet Union's founder Vladimir Lenin in Kiev after hundreds of thousands massed for a new protest in an increasingly tense standoff with President Viktor Yanukovych's government. The protesters had filled Independence Square in central Kiev and surrounding streets to bursting point to denounce Yanukovych's rejection of an EU pact under Kremlin pressure, in the biggest protests since the 2004 Orange Revolution. In a hugely symbolic denouement to the rally, dozens of masked protesters tore down the 3.4 metre (11 feet) high statue of the Bolshevik leader after putting a rope noose round Lenin's neck, an AFP correspondent said. Parts of the statue were afterwards triumphantly brandished at the main demonstration on Independence Square.