Ukraine President: We've Got a Truce

Development comes as US, EU consider sanctions
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2014 3:51 PM CST
Anti-government protesters throw stones during clashes with riot police in Kiev's Independence Square on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
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(Newser) – It's a welcome break from the violence in Kiev: Ukraine's president and opposition leaders say they have agreed to a truce, reports Reuters. The development comes a day after a crackdown in Kiev left more than two dozen dead and hundreds more injured, prompting the US and Europe to warn today of sanctions and President Obama to declare that "there will be consequences if people step over the line," reports the Wall Street Journal. President Viktor Yanukovich met today with the three top opposition leaders and said they had agreed to a truce while they begin talks aimed at "ending bloodshed and stabilizing the situation in the state in the interests of social peace."

An opposition leader confirmed: "The storming of (Independence Square) which the authorities had planned today will not take place," he said. "A truce has been declared. The main thing is to protect human life." The news comes after apparent signs of turmoil within the government: Yanukovich fired his military chief today, while officials in the city of Lviv and in nearby Ivano-Frankivsk vowed to defy government orders against protesters, reports the Washington Post.

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