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Defiant Ukrainian president blames opposition leaders for deadly violence

MOSCOW - The Ukrainian president is blaming opposition leaders for the deadly violence that has erupted in central Kyiv.

In a statement published online early Wednesday, President Viktor Yanukovych said that he had already made several attempts to compromise, but that opposition leaders "crossed a line when they called people to arms."

Yanukovych said opposition leaders had to "draw a boundary between themselves and radical forces," or else "acknowledge that they are supporting radicals. Then the conversation ... will already be of a different kind."

The defiant tone of the statement left little hope of a compromise to resolve the crisis, which erupted three months ago when Yanukovych shelved an association deal with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Russia.

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