Anti-Yanukovych protesters clash with anti-riot police on Independence Square in Kiev, on December 11, 2013. Ukrainian security forces pulled out of the epicentre of mass protests in Kiev today after a nine hour standoff with thousands of demonstrators, in a major boost for the opposition to President Viktor Yanukovych. AFP PHOTO / GETTY IMAGES / VIKTOR DRACHEV
KIEV, Ukraine -- Police in Ukraine have pulled back after an overnight confrontation in which they attempted to remove barricades and tents from protesters' camp and scuffled with demonstrators.
Buses carrying police drove away from Kiev's Independence Square early Wednesday to cheers from protesters.
Another group of police that had been stationed outside the Kiev city hall building, which has been occupied by protesters for weeks, also departed from the scene.
Arseny Yatsenyuk, a top opposition leader, says "this is a great victory."
Protesters have been gathering around the clock to demand the resignation of the government in a crisis that threatens the leadership of President Viktor Yanukovych.