By Rebecca Shabad - 12/11/13 07:43 AM EST
Secretary of State John Kerry expressed the United States’ “disgust” with Ukrainian authorities’ violent crackdown on their nation’s protestors.
“The United States expresses its disgust with the decision of Ukrainian authorities to meet the peaceful protest in Kyiv's Maidan Square with riot police, bulldozers, and batons, rather than with respect for democratic rights and human dignity. This response is neither acceptable nor does it befit a democracy,” Kerry said in a statement Tuesday night.
The demonstrations have continued since President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision in November to not sign a trade agreement with the European Union.
Vice President Biden spoke to Yanukovych on Monday and expressed “deep concern” with the potential for escalating violence, the White House said in a statement.
Victoria Nuland, the U.S. assistant secretary of State, visited Kiev on Tuesday with EU’s High Representative Catherine Ashton to try to facilitate a solution.
“As church bells ring tonight amidst the smoke in the streets of Kyiv, the United States stands with the people of Ukraine. They deserve better,” Kerry said.