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Kiev protesters issue ultimatum after vacating city hall

Published on Feb 17, 2014 1:14 AM

KIEV (AFP) - Hundreds of angry demonstrators in Kiev issued an ultimatum to authorities Sunday, demanding amnesty for fellow activists just hours after vacating the highly symbolic headquarters of a protest movement rocking Ukraine.

"We are issuing an ultimatum to authorities - if they do not immediately announce the complete and unconditional rehabilitation (of protesters) in some 2,000 cases, we will retake city hall," Andriy Illenko, a lawmaker from the nationalist opposition Svoboda (Freedom) party, told protesters.

"This ultimatum expires in several hours," he warned, as around 150 protesters gathered in front of the building, some wearing helmets and army jackets, hitting metal batons on the ground.

The opposition had occupied Kiev's city hall since December as part of anti-government unrest that has raged in Ukraine for close to three months after President Viktor Yanukovych ditched a key EU trade pact in favour of closer ties with Russia.

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