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Ukrainian president urges opposition to stay away from radicals

English.news.cn   2014-02-19 14:08:02

KIEV, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych urged the opposition on Wednesday to distance themselves from the radicals so as to avoid bloodshed and conflict, and try to solve the crisis through dialogue and negotiation.

"We need to sit down at the negotiating table to save Ukraine. Because future generations will not forgive us if we destroy the state," Yanukovych said in his address to the nation posted on the presidential website.

Yanukovych made the remarks after violent clashes continued earlier Wednesday between anti-government protesters and the riot police, resulting in 20 deaths, including 11 civilians and nine policemen, the authorities confirmed.

Ukraine's Interior Ministry said around 300 police officers were wounded while Kiev emergency officials reported about 200 people injured in the opposition camp.

Yanukovych tried to find a way out with opposition leaders Tuesday night, but the negotiations ended with no major progress.

The demonstrations turned violent Tuesday when radical activists attacked riot police with fireworks and petrol bombs.

The police began to surround the Independence Square, the main site where protesters had camped, at around 8 p.m. local time (1800 GMT) Tuesday, dismantling barricades and dispersing demonstrators with stun grenades and water cannon.

The violence was the latest wave of clashes between demonstrators and riot police in the political standoff, which began last November when the government's decision to backtrack on the country's European integration angered many Ukrainians.

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Editor: chengyang
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