Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich called on Monday for only peaceful rallies and appealed to both protesters and police alike to observe the law, his website reported him as saying in a television interview.
"Any bad peace is better than a good war", it quoted him as saying in his first comments on mass unrest over the weekend, following his U-turn policy away from Europe towards Russia.
"Everyone must observe the laws of our state," he said. Separately, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying that the political opposition had the "illusion" that it could overthrow the existing order.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, writig by Thomas Grove, Editing by Richard Balmforth)