Ukraine’s embattled President Viktor Yanukovich announced on Wednesday that he had agreed to a “truce” with opposition leaders and would restart negotiations after bloody clashes in which at least 26 people were killed.
A statement on the presidential website said that Yanukovich had agreed to the truce and to “the start of negotiations with the aim of ending bloodshed and stabilising the situation in the state in the interests of social peace” following talks with the three main opposition leaders.
The apparent breakthrough came on the eve of a visit by the foreign ministers of Germany, Poland and France, and before an EU meeting to discuss possible sanctions against Yanukovich’s government.
Thousands of defiant protesters continued to face down rows of riot police Wednesday on Kiev’s Independence Square after overnight clashes saw buildings set ablaze in scenes of bloody chaos that prompted Yanukovich to sack the head of the country’s armed forces and vow to pursue an “anti-terrorist” campaign.
The violence was the worst unrest in nearly three months of anti-government protests that have paralysed Ukraine's capital as the nation struggles with loyalties divided between Russia and the West.
On Wednesday French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they wanted the EU to impose targeted sanctions against Ukraine as soon as possible, condemning the "unspeakable, unacceptable acts" in Kiev.
See below for FRANCE 24's coverage of the day's events.
Date created : 2014-02-19