01/24/2014 19:01 EST | Updated 03/26/2014 05:59 EDT

Winnipeg rally supports protesters in Ukraine

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Manitoba legislature Friday evening to show their support for protesters in Ukraine opposing the country's pro-Russian president.

Those at the rally are condemning the Ukrainian government and calling on the Canadian government to intervene in the conflict.

"What we can do as Canadians of Ukrainian descent [is] come here and support our brothers and sisters in Ukraine," said John Petryshyn, who came to the event.

For the past two months, protesters have railed against President Viktor Yanukovych, with the protests growing increasingly violent this week after harsh new laws against public demonstrations were passed.

- MAP | Ukraine's European Union dilemma

The protests began after Yanukovych turned away from closer ties with the European Union in favour of getting a bailout loan from Russia.

The Ukrainian capital of Kyiv has been the epicentre of many of the protests, but the demonstrations started intensified outside the capital city this week.

The Canadian government has urged the Ukrainian government to find a political solution to the conflict by engaging in a dialogue with the people of Ukraine.

The federal government said Canada is among a number of countries considering all possible options, including sanctions, if a solution is not found.