Ukraine president 'deeply outraged' by violence

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Saturday condemned the use of force against an opposition rally at which several dozen demonstrators were wounded.

"I am deeply outraged by events that took place on Independence Square overnight," Yanukovych said in a statement. "I condemn the actions which led to a confrontation and people suffering," he said, vowing that those responsible for the use of force would be punished.

"I am demanding that the Ukrainian General Prosecutor's Office urgently provide me and Ukrainian society with results of an immediate and objective investigation in order to properly punish those responsible.

"I confirm: we are united in the choice of our common European future."

Riot police early Saturday brutally wounded several dozen demonstrators at an opposition rally after Yanukovych refused to sign a key political and free-trade deal with the European Union.

He spoke after the United States and the EU condemned the violence and called for an investigation.

The government's announcement last week that it would not be signing a deal that would have set ex-Soviet Ukraine on a path to EU membership sparked the largest demonstrations since the pro-democracy 2004 Orange Revolution.

Three main opposition parties are calling for a new rally on Sunday.