Ukraine Scraps Protest Ban as PM Quits to 'Calm Crisis'

Azarov resignation unlikely to appease protesters
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 28, 2014 4:24 AM CST
Ukraine PM Quits 'to Calm Crisis'
Ukraine's Prime Minister Mykola Azarov speaks to lawmakers during a parliament session last month.   (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File)

The prime minister of protest-torn Ukraine has submitted his resignation, saying he hopes the move would help bring peaceful resolution to the crisis that has gripped the country for two months. Mykola Azarov's resignation would remove one of the figures most despised by the opposition. Hours later, parliament repealed harsh anti-protest laws that set off the police-protester clashes in which at least three protesters died. "We have repealed all the laws against which the whole country rose up," says top opposition figure Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Azarov's resignation was accepted by President Viktor Yanukovych, who last week offered the premiership to Yatsenyuk, who turned him down. Yanukovych says an amnesty for dozens of protesters arrested in the demonstrations will be implemented only if protesters leave the streets and vacate buildings that they have occupied. Ending the protests without having other demands met—including Yanukovych's resignation—appears unlikely. (Read more Mykola Azarov stories.)

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