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Fresh fighting flared in central Kiev on Thursday, shattering a truce declared by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, as the Russian-backed leader met European ministers demanding he compromise with pro-EU opponents.A Reuters photographer saw the bodies of 21 dead civilians in Independence Square, a few hundred metres from where the president met the EU delegation, after protesters who have occupied the area for almost three months hurled petrol bombs and paving stones to drive riot police from the plaza. A Ukrainian presidential statement said dozens of police were wounded or killed during the opposition offensive hours, after Yanukovich and opposition leaders had agreed on a truce.Opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko urged lawmakers to convene in parliament and demanded Yanukovich call an immediate presidential election.The crisis in the sprawling country of 46 million with an ailing economy and endemic corruption has mounted since Yanukovich took a $15-billion Russian bailout instead of signing a wide-ranging trade and cooperation deal with the EU.In Lviv, a bastion of Ukrainian nationalism since Soviet times, the regional assembly declared autonomy from Yanukovich and his administration, which many west Ukrainians see as much closer to Moscow and to Ukraine's Russian-speaking east.Yanukovich himself would be left off the list to keep channels of dialogue open, EU officials said.
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