Ukrainian President Claims Deal to End Crisis, But Shooting Persists

Viktor Yanukovych announces agreement to end conflict that has claimed dozens of lives, but gunfire reported in Kiev

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Vasily Fedosenko / Reuters

A general view shows anti-government protesters at a barricade in Independence Square in central Kiev Feb. 21, 2014.

Embattled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych announced early Friday that a new deal has been struck with the opposition to end a bloody week of fighting in Kiev that saw dozens of people killed.

“Negotiations on the settlement of the political crisis in Ukraine between President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, leaders of the opposition, E.U. and Russian representatives have finished,” said an official statement released by the government, according to the New York Times.

However, European officials warned that the overnight deal was still fragile.

“Of course, the participants of the talks, my colleagues, warned it is still premature to say the crisis is over,” Slovakia’s Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak told the AP.

According to the agreement, a new caretaker government would be formed with participation from the opposition.

Despite the supposed breakthrough, shots were still being fired in Kiev on Friday morning, although it remains unclear which side was responsible.

On Tuesday night, state security forces launched a massive crackdown against protesters barricaded in the capital, which killed at least 25 people killed in the bloodiest domestic clashes since Ukraine broke free of Soviet rule in 1991.