Ukraine Opposition Signs Peace Deal, But... remains to be seen whether protesters accept the deal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2014 3:54 AM CST
Updated Feb 21, 2014 9:02 AM CST
A priest stands on the barricades at Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine this morning.   (AP Photo/ Marko Drobnjakovic)
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(Newser) – Ukraine's opposition leaders today signed an international deal with the country's president intended to end battles between police and protesters that have killed scores and injured hundreds, the AP reports. President Viktor Yanukovich's office stated earlier that the government and the opposition had agreed to initial the deal, reached after all-night negotiations with European and Russian mediators.

The deal would see Ukraine's president lose some of his powers within 48 hours; the creation of a caretaker government that would include representatives of the opposition within 10 days; and early presidential elections happening no later than December (they were scheduled for March 2015). It also says the government will not impose a state of emergency and both sides will refrain from violence. The deal also states that protesters should hand over any weapons and withdraw from buildings they have occupied and protest camps around the country. But protesters had demanded that Yanukovich step down immediately, and it's not clear whether the thousands camped out in Kiev will accept the deal. (Read more Ukraine stories.)

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