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article imageUkrainian President agrees to hold a presidential election

By Kev Hedges     Feb 21, 2014 in Politics
Kiev - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has agreed to hold an election before the end of 2014, in a bid to end the crisis that has gripped the nation.
He has also said he will agree to a national unity government and will make key constitutional changes that will see the power held by a president reduced. But there is no word as yet from the opposition or the protesters as to whether they will agree to this latest deal.
Foreign ministers from Poland and Germany, in Kiev as mediators, are about to talk to protesters in Independence Square, scene of much unrest in the past week. However, as news of the deal filtered through to the capital more shots rang out, a stark reminder of the continuing fragile situation.
The deal means the country could return to the 2004 Constitution by Monday, and a national unity government to be in place within 10 days, reports BBC.
So far the conflict has seen 77 people killed since Tuesday, and another 577 injured. The new deal will see a presidential election held no later than December 2014. But for a deal to bear fruit, it has to be accepted by several parties, of which there are many in Ukraine's complex state.
On Thursday, at least 21 protesters were killed by sniper attacks, all within the space of just three or four hours.
Anti-government protesters whose tents were burning  throw missiles during clashes with riot police ...
Anti-government protesters whose tents were burning, throw missiles during clashes with riot police at the Independence Square in Kiev January 18, 2014
© Reuters / Konstantin Chernichkin
Anti-government protesters take cover behind a temporary barricade during clashes with riot police a...
Anti-government protesters take cover behind a temporary barricade during clashes with riot police at Independence Square in Kiev February 18, 2014
© Reuters / Vasily Fedosenko
An anti-government protester prepares to throw a petrol bomb during clashes with riot police at Inde...
An anti-government protester prepares to throw a petrol bomb during clashes with riot police at Independence Square in Kiev February 18, 2014
© Reuters / Vasily Fedosenko
A masked protester is seen in front of thick smoke from burning vehicles during clashes with police ...
A masked protester is seen in front of thick smoke from burning vehicles during clashes with police in Kiev February 18, 2014
© Reuters / Konstantin Chernichkin
Anti-government protesters whose tents were burning  throw missiles during clashes with riot police ...
Anti-government protesters whose tents were burning, throw missiles during clashes with riot police at the Independence Square in Kiev January 18, 2014
© Reuters
Anti-government protesters whose tents were burning  throw missiles during clashes with riot police ...
Anti-government protesters whose tents were burning, throw missiles during clashes with riot police at the Independence Square in Kiev January 18, 2014
© Reuters / David Mdzinarishvili
Ukranian riot police take cover behind their shields during clashes with anti-government protesters ...
Ukranian riot police take cover behind their shields during clashes with anti-government protesters near Independence Square in Kiev February 18, 2014
© Reuters / Konstantin Chernichkin
Anti-government protesters clashed with riot police at the Independence Square in Kiev January 18  2...
Anti-government protesters clashed with riot police at the Independence Square in Kiev January 18, 2014
© Reuters / Vasily Fedosenko
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