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Saturday 25th of January 2014 A- A+

Ukraine crisis: Yanukovych 'concessions' fail to end unrest

Violence has continued in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, after President Viktor Yanukovych promised to make concessions to try to end the country's crisis.

As dawn broke on Saturday, fires still burned in the city centre. Overnight, protesters threw rocks and petrol bombs at police, who responded with tear gas.

Mr Yanukovych pledged to amend anti-protest laws and reshuffle the cabinet.

But opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko said the protesters now wanted the president to resign.

On Friday night, protesters burned tyres on barricades on Hrushevskyy Street - the scene of recent deadly clashes near the main protest camp on the capital's Independence Square.

Fireballs lit up the sky. Witnesses said several arrests were made.

Activists seized a number of government offices across Ukraine.

The crisis escalated this week with the first deaths since the unrest started two months ago. Two protesters were shot dead during clashes on Hrushevskyy Street.

The opposition says they were killed by riot police or snipers - the government denies the claim.

And an activist was found dead in woods near Kiev after apparently being abducted, tortured and left to die in the snow.

The demonstrations were initially triggered by the last-minute decision of Mr Yanukovych's government to ditch a proposed association and free trade deal with the EU in November - under heavy pressure from neighbouring Russia.

But the protests later widened their demand to include the fight against what activists say are widespread government corruption and abuse of power.

The authorities deny the allegations.

(BBC News)

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