Ukraine disbands police unit accused of violence

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People light cantles and place flowers at a memorial for the people killed in clashes with the police at Kiev’s Independence Square, the epicenter of the country’s current unrest, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Parliament speaker says that a new government should be in place by Thursday, a delay reflecting intense ongoing consultations. Oleksandr Turchinov has previously said the new government could be formed on Tuesday. Turchinov was named Ukraine’s interim leader after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital after signing a peace deal with opposition leaders to end violent clashes between police and protesters and Kiev. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

People light cantles and place flowers at a memorial for the people killed in clashes with the police at Kiev’s Independence Square, the epicenter of the country’s current unrest, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Parliament speaker says that a new government should be in place by Thursday, a delay reflecting intense ongoing consultations. Oleksandr Turchinov has previously said the new government could be formed on Tuesday. Turchinov was named Ukraine’s interim leader after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital after signing a peace deal with opposition leaders to end violent clashes between police and protesters and Kiev. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

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KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s acting interior minister says he has disbanded a feared riot police force that many accuse of attacks on protesters.

Arsen Avakov wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday that he has signed a decree to disband the force known as Berkut.

Anti-government protesters have blamed Berkut for violent attacks against a peaceful demonstrators protesting authorities decision to ditch closer ties with the European Union and turn to Moscow instead.

Ukraine has been consumed by a three-month-long political crisis. President Viktor Yanukovych and protest leaders signed an agreement last week to end the conflict that left more than 80 people dead in just a few days in Kiev. Shortly after, Yanukovych fled the capital for his powerbase in eastern Ukraiune but his exact whereabouts are unknown.

Associated Press

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