UK & World News
Ukraine: Protesters In Control Of Kiev
Protesters have claimed full control over the city of Kiev after a deal was signed to end a three-month political crisis in Ukraine.
Police have abandoned posts around the capital and protesters seized the presidential office.
Opposition leaders have called for the president to stand down immediately and urged early elections to take place before May 25 during an emergency session in parliament.
President Viktor Yanukovych is reported to have left Kiev, with his residence in the capital unguarded and journalists able to enter the building freely, according to the Interfax news agency.
A close ally said he had no intention of leaving Ukraine. Hanna Herman said he was visiting Kharkiv, a city in the east of Ukraine which is the heart of his support.
Sky's Katie Stallard, speaking from the presidential palace compound, said: "Protesters say they control this building now, that they are one of 1,200 soldier units who are being deployed around the government district.
"They say they are protecting them on behalf of the people against hotheads and against the government.
"I can tell you that there are no police, there are no security forces here. The protesters are in control of this."
A spokesman for opposition leader Vitali Klitschko said he was seeking support for a parliament resolution calling on the president to resign.
Oksana Zinoviyeva said: "We will submit the resolution with the demand for Yanukovych to resign.
"It will allow the parliament to set the date for early elections."
It comes as the speaker of the Ukraine parliament, Volodymyr Rybak, announced he was standing down due to ill-health. He was a key aide to Mr Yanukovych.
MPs elected Oleksander Turchynov - a close ally of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko - to replace him.
Opposition MP Arsen Avakov was also elected as interior minister until the formation of a new coalition government.
A day after parliament voted to free Ms Tymoshenko, MPs also agreed to accelerate her release under quicker procedures that do not require the president's endorsement.
The interior ministry said on Saturday it was in favour of "speedy change", and urged the people to unite to ensure security and the creation of an "independent, democratic and just European country".
But regional legislators in eastern Ukraine have questioned the legitimacy and authority of decisions made by the national parliament.
Opposition leaders Oleh Tyahnybok, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Mr Klitschko met Mr Yanukovych at the presidential HQ in Kiev to sign the deal on Friday.
In a statement on his website, Mr Yanukovych announced presidential elections would take place this year and promised to form a coalition government.
The elections had been due to take place in March 2015.
He also promised to revert to the country's 2004 constitution, a move which will trim presidential powers.
Interior minister Vitali Zakharchenko has been removed from his post following a vote in parliament. He was widely blamed for ordering police violence against the protesters.
The deal was brokered over two days of mediation by the foreign ministers of France and Germany, along with Ukraine's cultural ally Poland.
The White House also welcomed the deal, but said it remained prepared to impose additional sanctions.
President Barack Obama spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday evening, with the two leaders discussing the need to stabilise Ukraine's economy and carry out reforms.
Mr Obama also spoke with Mr Putin about the need for "all sides to refrain from further violence", a White House statement said.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague described the agreement as an "important first step".
Authorities say some 77 people have been killed over three days of violence in the Ukrainian capital.
But opposition medics say more than 60 protesters were shot dead by police on Thursday alone, and that almost 100 people have died in the crisis.
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