In late February 2014, Yanukovych and many other high government officials fled the country.
There was fierce fighting in Kiev on February 18–20, in which almost 100 activists and 17 police officers were killed (see List of people killed during Euromaidan).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." 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.
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.