Ukrainian president calls for compromise after street clashes


Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich on Monday appealed for compromise as police and demonstrators clashed again in the streets in a series of worst violence seen for decades.
Scores of people were injured in Kiev on Sunday in a clash between police and protestors.
The violence stemmed from a rally on Sunday attended by more than 100,000 people in defiance of a court ban.
Despite opposition calls for only peaceful action, the rally descended into violence when masked youths broke away and tried to march on parliament before being stopped by police.
In the ensuing clashes, more than 60 police were injured, with 40 being taken to hospital, police said. Kiev’s medical services said about 100 civilians had sought medical attention.
With tension still high, about 1,000 protesters faced police on Monday near Kiev’s main government headquarters. Scores of mainly young people hurled projectiles at police throughout the day and ignored appeals to disperse.
After weeks of mass protests over Yanukovich’s decision to shun a trade pact with the European Union and turn instead towards Russia, demonstrators have been further enraged by sweeping laws rammed through parliament to curb public protest,
“I ask you not to join those who seek violence, who are trying to create a division between the state and society and who want to hurl the Ukrainian people into a pit of mass disorder,” Yanukovich said in an appeal on his website.
He called for “dialogue and compromise” to end the unrest. But he made no mention of possible concessions, nor did he refer to peace talks with the opposition which were to have got under way on Monday.
The opposition warned him not to use these as an effort to buy time, while boxer-turned politician Vitaly Klitschko, one of its leaders, insisted he wanted Yanukovich to take part personally in the talks. As of Monday evening it was unclear if and when talks would take place.