KIEV, Ukraine – In a desperate bid to stop the violence in Kiev and keep his job, beleaguered Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich offered the prime minister’s job to opposition leader Arseny Yatsenyuk late Saturday.
The president also offered the position of deputy premier for humanitarian issues to another opposition leader, former world heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko.
But the opposition leaders gave no indication that they would accept the offers.
Emerging before a crowd of about 20,000 protesters in Independence Square late Saturday, they said they would continue negotiations with the government to meet their demands, including a presidential election.
The president’s offer was announced to reporters by an aide after hours of talks with the opposition leadership and amid renewed clashes between anti-government protesters and riot police in downtown Kiev.
A package of measures proposed by the president also included the removal of protesters from the street and a halt to their demonstrations, including the return of all government premises captured by the opposition in the last two months in Kiev and across the country.