KIEV: Prime Minister Mykola Azarov resigned on Tuesday in a bid to defuse Ukraine’s deadly crisis and preserve its unity, finally giving into months of pressure from street protesters. Azarov said he had taken a “personal decision” to resign to preserve Ukraine’s unity as parliament opened a session to vote on reforms and concessions backed by President Viktor Yanukovych. The European Union and United States cranked up pressure on Yanukovych to impose serious reforms to end a standoff that turned parts of Kiev into a war zone patrolled by masked protesters and left three activists dead. After a four hour meeting with opposition leaders, the presidency said that controversial anti-protest laws passed on January 16 would be cancelled and amnesty granted for jailed protesters on conditions public buildings and streets were freed up.



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