Anti-government protesters use a sledge hammer to destroy a statue of Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin they had pulled down, on December 8, 2013 in Kiev, Ukraine. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
By David Jackson, USA TODAY
Vice President Biden called Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Monday to express "deep concern about the situation in Ukraine and the growing potential for violence," the White House said.
The rest of the White House readout:
"The Vice President underscored the need to immediately de-escalate the situation and begin a dialogue with opposition leaders on developing a consensus way forward for Ukraine.
"He noted that violence has no place in a democratic society and is incompatible with our strategic relationship.
"The Vice President reaffirmed the strong support of the United States for Ukraine's European aspirations and welcomed President Yanukovych's commitment to maintaining this path.
"He underscored the close alignment of the United States and the European Union, and welcomed the upcoming visits of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and State Department Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland to Kyiv."