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Yanukovych Signs Amnesty For Detained Protesters

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has signed a bill granting amnesties to anyone detained during the recent pro-European Union demonstrations in Ukraine.

Yanukovych's press office said December 23 the amnesty "has been sent for publication" and applies to anyone detained in the antigovernment rallies since November 21.

The bill says all criminal cases opened against rally participants since November 21 should be closed and individuals released.

Protests erupted in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities after the government announced it was suspending talks with the EU on an Association Agreement and would instead seek closer ties with neighbor Russia.

Demonstrations at times involved hundreds of thousands of people.

Numbers have dwindled since Yanukovych and Russian President Vladimir Putin late last week reached a deal that cut about one-third off the price Ukraine pays for Russian gas.

With reporting by Interfax