Protesters hand back Kiev's city hall to the authorities
Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 01:31
Feb. 16 - Ukrainian anti-government protesters end a two-month-old occupation of city hall in the capital Kiev in response to a government amnesty offer. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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Demonstrators gather in front of City Hall in Kiev -- a building they have occupied in Ukraine for about two months.
Under the watchful eye of international observers they sign an accord to leave the building as part of a government amnesty offer.
They vow peace but will use force if necessary.
(SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) LEADER OF GROUP OCCUPYING THE CITY COUNCIL, RUSLAN ANDREIKO, SAYING:
"We only want a peaceful revolution, we don't want violence but if we are forced into it we are ready to come back and fight the occupants."
Swiss Ambassador Christian Schoenenberger has high hopes.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SWISS AMBASSADOR, CHRISTIAN SCHOENENBERGER, SAYING:
"It is two steps, both sides made a step towards each other, both sides made a compromise, so it's not the protesters alone, it's not the Kiev city administration alone who made a step toward the other, but they really went one step towards each other."
Ukrainian authorities have offered to drop all criminal charges against activists who have been provisionally freed as long as municipal buildings are cleared of protesters and some main roads unblocked by Monday.
Demonstrators swept into the main municipal building in early December as a popular revolt mushroomed against President Viktor Yanukovich's decision to ditch a trade pact with the EU in favor of closer economic ties with Russia.
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