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Hopes for end to Ukraine violence

The chances of ending the violence that has gripped the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, are high, a spokeswoman for an opposition leader said tonight after a meeting with the country's president.

Olha Lappo, a spokeswoman for Arseniy Yatsenyuk, made the statement on his Facebook page after an hours-long meeting between opposition leaders and President Viktor Yanukovych.

She did not provide details, but the assessment appeared to be the first sign of progress in resolving the two-month crisis that is threatening to spread well beyond the capital.

However, some protesters were resistant. Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko, one of those at the meeting with Mr Yanukovych, went to the site of clashes to try to persuade demonstrators to hold to an uneasy truce, but was booed and some cried "Shame!"

The demonstrators again set fire to barricades of tyres.

The clash site is a few hundred yards from the protesters' tent camp in Independence Square, where round-the-clock demonstrations have been held since early December.

At least two people were killed by gunfire at the site yesterday. Demonstrators had pelted riot police with barrages of stones and set police buses on fire, while the officers responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades.


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