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Protesters end Kyiv City Hall occupation under government amnesty deal

Protesters end Kyiv City Hall occupation under government amnesty deal
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Scores of Ukrainian anti-government protesters ended a two-month occupation of Kyiv City Hall on Sunday to meet an amnesty offer aimed at easing a stand-off over President Viktor Yanukovich’s rule.

Ukrainian authorities have agreed to drop criminal charges against activists if public buildings are cleared of protesters by Monday.

Volodymyr Makeyenko, head of Kyiv City State Administration, told euronews:
“Every day of talks saved lives and there were no more people wounded. We negotiated as much as was necessary to normalise the situation. I think peace and stability began in Ukraine today. And we will do everything to continue that.”

Many protesters are unhappy, though, and have threatened to return to municipal buildings if authorities do not carry out their amnesty promise.

One unnamed protester explained why: “We have not achieved what we wanted. A lot of people died. Many people have disappeared. People have been released but not completely: house arrest is also a form of detention.”

Jon Elvedal Fredriksen, the Norwegian ambassador to Ukraine, was in Kyiv to help transfer control of City Hall back to the authorities.

“I think there is a deep concern in Europe, and there is a deep concern in the international community for what we have seen here in Kyiv,” he said. “And I am quite sure that goodwill is there to be helpful for the current situation as far as this is possible,” continued Fredriksen.

Sergio Cantone, euronews correspondent in Kyiv, reported:

“Small diplomatic steps may lead to a major political agreement. The Ukrainian crisis escalated from a national level to an international one.

“The international community is trying to resolve the crisis. But the solution lies within parliament and how the future government is formed.”

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