Ukrainian opposition protesters ended a two-month occupation of city
hall in Kiev on Sunday and opened a road to limited traffic, meeting an
amnesty offer aimed at easing a stand-off over President Viktor
The authorities, for their part, withdrew riot
police from a flashpoint district of the capital, near the Dynamo Kiev
football stadium, where at least three protesters died in January in
violence between ultra-radical activists and police.
accepting that the protesters had met the authorities half-way, the
prosecutor's office said in a statement that the amnesty would come into
force from Monday.
Criminal charges would be dropped against
those protesters for violations committed between December 27 and
February 2, it said - a period that includes a week of clashes in which
six people were killed and hundreds of police and protesters injured.
the conciliatory moves, opposition leaders sought to keep up pressure
on Yanukovich, telling a rally in Kiev's Independence Square that he
must abandon "dictatorial" powers and let them form a government
independent of him.
On Tuesday, Yanukovich may present his
candidate for prime minister to parliament - a choice that will show
whether he is ready to make more concessions to the opposition after 12
weeks of often ugly street confrontation.
Opposition leaders made
clear on Sunday they would also push in parliament for constitutional
changes to reduce Yanukovich's powers.
The unrest was sparked by
Yanukovich in November when he spurned a free trade agreement long in
the making with the European Union and opted for a $15 billion package
of Russian credits and cheaper gas to shore up Ukraine's ailing economy.
revolt spiraled into countrywide protests at perceived sleaze and
corruption in the Yanukovich administration, and has triggered a
geopolitical tussle between East and West.
As Russia beckons with
the aid package, the United States and its Western allies have urged
Yanukovich to move back towards an IMF-backed deal with Europe.