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In a rapid series of developments, after 77 people have been killed in fighting in Kiev, the Ukraine Parliament Votes To Oust Yanukovich, Sets May Election. The opposition leader Tymoshenko has been freed from prison, and the elections are set for May 25.

KIEV, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Ukraine's parliament voted on Saturday to remove President Viktor Yanukovich, who abandoned his Kiev office to protesters and denounced what he described as a coup after a week of fighting in the streets of the capital.

Parliament also freed his arch-nemesis, former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who walked free from the hospital where she had been jailed, completing a radical transformation in the former Soviet republic of 46 million people.

The apparent toppling of the pro-Russian leader after bloodshed in Kiev that saw 77 people killed and the centre of the capital transformed into a blazing inferno, looks likely to pull Ukraine away from Moscow's orbit and closer to Europe.

The Ukrainian parliament decisively rejected Yanukovich, after a week of brutal bloodshed, and after the vote members stood and sang the national anthem. This represents a repudiation of Russian President Vladimir Putin's attempts to pull Ukraine back into a tighter orbit around Moscow.

9:09 AM PT: CNN is reported that President Viktor Yanukovich has refused to resign. Also, I corrected some unconventional use of commas in the first publication. By the way, I'm trying to create the impression that I am a credible writer with at least some minimal level of exposure to our educational system. So if anyone notices any suspicious spelling, grammar, punctuation, or stylistic deviations that might provide clues to the fact that I am just an ambitious street hounddog, please let me know. Thanks.


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