KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters have gathered on the central square of Ukraine's capital, maintaining more than a month of rallies protesting the government's decision to shelve a key deal with the European Union.

The turnout at the protest on Sunday, December 29, 2013 was markedly lower compared to some of the earlier rallies, which attracted hundreds of thousands.

The demonstrations were sparked by President Viktor Yanukovych's decision last month to spike the EU deal in favor of closer ties with Russia. The move angered many Ukrainians, who hoped that closer ties with the EU would help end centuries of Russia's domination.

The protests were galvanized by a brutal police crackdown on November 30th, but Yanukovych's government has since limited the use of force in an apparent hope that protests will fizzle out.

(Story by The Associated Press, edited by WIBX)