KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine appeared mired in a standoff Tuesday, as massive protest rallies showed no sign of letting up and the government warned of its capability for force after a failed attempt to take it down.
The opposition lost its attempt to topple the government by parliamentary means when a vote of no-confidence failed by a sizable margin.
The protesters called for the parliamentary vote over President Viktor Yanukovych's shelving of a long-anticipated agreement to deepen political and economic ties with the European Union and the violent tactics used by police to disperse demonstrators protesting the decision. Instead, the president has leaned toward Russia.
Yanukovych left on an official visit to China, where he is expected to sign an array of economic agreements, his office said. He is expected to be gone until Friday and the prospects for a definitive development in the next few days seem small.
Protest leaders vowed to continue their demonstrations, which have brought as many as 300,000 people to the streets of Kiev.
Yanukovych has sought to quell public anger by moving to renew talks with the EU.
But while Prime Minister Mykola Azarov apologized for the violence, he also made a tough vow. "We have extended our hand to you, but if we encounter a fist, I will be frank, we have enough force," he said.