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Deal signed to end Ukraine crisis; move to free Tymoshenko

Published on Feb 22, 2014 3:43 AM
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Candles are seen lit on the pavement in the memory of victims of recent violent protests in the Independence Square in Kiev on Feb 21, 2014. Ukraine’s embattled leader signed a deal Friday with the opposition in a bid to end the ex-Soviet country’s worst crisis since independence after three days of carnage left nearly 100 protesters dead. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KIEV (AFP) - Ukraine’s embattled leader signed a deal Friday with the opposition in a bid to end the ex-Soviet country’s worst crisis since independence after three days of carnage left nearly 100 protesters dead.

But President Viktor Yanukovych’s dramatic decision to hold early elections and form a new unity government while granting amnesty for those involved in the violence was met with scepticism or even hostility by nearly 40,000 protesters who gathered on central Kiev’s main square – many of them frustrated the leader was not stepping down.

“Elections in December are not enough – he has to leave now,” said 34-year-old Oleh Bukoyenko, summing up the disgruntled mood of the crowd.

Ukraine’s parliament adopted a flurry of opposition-backed that still need the president’s backing before entering into force.

 
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