Ukraine's Prime Minister Resigns, Anti-Protest Laws Repealed

Months of protest in Ukraine - which started in opposition to President Viktor Yanukovych's move to increase ties to Russia, but flared up recently in reaction to new strict anti-protest laws - have resulted in the resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, the dismissal of his cabinet, and the repeal of most of the recent anti-protest legislation. Demonstrations spread throughout the country over the past few days, with the most intense in central Kiev, where days of pitched battles, fires, and destruction have left parts of the city in blackened ruin. This morning Kiev was peaceful once more, as all parties met to work their way out of the crisis. Gathered here are scenes from the streets of Ukraine over the past few days.
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1. Anti-government protesters gather at a barricade at the site of clashes with riot police in Kiev, Ukraine, on January 25, 2014. Ukraine's Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has resigned amid violent protests, and most of the deeply unpopular recent anti-protest laws have been repealed.




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2. A supporter of anti-government protesters wears a pot decorated with national colors and a portrait of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko in the camp at Independence Square in Kiev, on January 24, 2014. Ukrainian protesters responded to laws against wearing helmets in public by donning pots and pans instead.




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3. Riot police stand guard opposite a roadblock of the anti-government protesters in Kiev, on January 28, 2014.




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4. A riot policeman stands at his position near the site of clashes with anti-government protesters in Kiev, on January 27, 2014.




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5. Using an electric saw and ax, protesters make shields from steel drums in Kiev, on January 25, 2014.




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6. Orthodox priests pray as they stand between demonstrators and police lines in Kiev, on January 24, 2014. As a barricade of blazing tires belched thick black smoke, a line of priests stood between angry protesters and ominous riot police. Every freezing morning, priests sing prayers to demonstrators gathered on the Ukrainian capital's main square, a solemn and soothing interlude to vehement speeches calling for revolution.




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7. Tents of anti-government protesters in Independence Square in central Kiev, on January 26, 2014.




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8. A protester throws a tire onto a fire during clashes with police in Kiev, on January 25, 2014.




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9. Riot police officers gather to face protestors in the center of Kiev, on January 22, 2014.




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10. Black smoke rises during clashes between protesters and police in Kiev, on January 25, 2014.




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11. Ukrainian anti-government protesters walk past burning tires, on January 25, 2014.




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12. A protester launches fireworks towards riot police in Kiev, on January 23, 2014.




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13. A protester wears a gas mask during street violence in Kiev, on January 23, 2014.




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14. Anti-government protesters clash with the police in Kiev during the night of January 25, 2014.




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15. A Ukrainian protester throws a Molotov cocktail in Kiev, on January 25, 2014.




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16. A demonstrator carries tires to the site of clashes with riot police in Kiev, on January 22, 2014.




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17. Protesters use a big slingshot during clashes with riot police, on January 23, 2014.




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18. Anti-government protesters stand on a barricade at the site of clashes with riot police in Kiev, on January 24, 2014.




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19. A protester walks among burning tires at the site of clashes with riot police in Kiev, on January 22, 2014.




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20. Ice clings to debris as riot police block a street in front of barricades on a frosty -18 C day during a clash in central Kiev, on January 25, 2014.




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21. Police lines, viewed through the wreckage of a bus on Grushevskogo Street, on January 26, 2013.




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22. An anti-government protester smokes near a barricade in Kiev, on January 26, 2014.




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23. A man paints a picture of the scene as anti-government protesters clash with police on Hrushevskoho Street near Dynamo stadium in Kiev, on January 25, 2014.




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24. Ukrainian protesters carry the coffin of Belarussian protester Mikhail Zhiznevsky, who was killed in recent clashes with riot police, as demonstrators pay their respects outside Mikhaylovsky Cathedral in Kiev during a funeral service for Zhiznevsky, on January 26, 2014. Thousands in Kiev mourned Zhiznevsky, shot dead during clashes, as a rebellion against President Viktor Yanukovych's authority spread. An emotional crowd packed Saint Michael's Cathedral and spilled into a square outside to pay their last respects to 25-year-old Mikhail Zhiznevsky, with many waving Ukrainian flags with black ribbons.




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25. People light candles in front of the October Palace to commemorate protesters who were killed in confrontations with police, in Kiev, on January 24, 2014.




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26. A protester using traffic sign as a shield attends clashes with police in Kiev, on January 23, 2014.




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27. Protesters protect themselves from water cannons in Kiev, on January 25, 2014.




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28. Police detain protesters during a clash in central Kiev, on January 22, 2014.




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29. A protester protects himself from water cannons in Kiev, on January 25, 2014.




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30. A protester uses tear gas against riot police during clashes in Chernihiv, about 150 kilometers (94 miles) north of Kiev, on January 25, 2014. Protesters seized government buildings in scores of other cities in the European-leaning western part of the country.




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31. A Ukrainian police officer throws a Molotov cocktail during clashes with protesters in Kiev, on January 22, 2014.




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32. Anti-government protesters mass outside the regional administration headquarters as they attempt to take over during a rally, with Interior Ministry members standing guard inside the building, in the town of Chernivtsi in southwestern Ukraine, on January 24, 2014.




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33. Anti-government protesters clash with Interior Ministry members at the regional administration headquarters as they attempt to take over in the town of Vinnytsia, some 200 km (124 miles) southwest of Kiev, on January 25, 2014. Thousands stormed regional administration headquarters in Lviv, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk and Khmelnytsky in western and central Ukraine, as well as parts of the northeast, the Party of the Regions said.




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34. Protesters stand guard inside the Justice Ministry in Kiev, on January 27, 2014. Ukraine's justice minister threatened to call for a state of emergency unless protesters left the ministry building, which they occupied during the night.




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35. Protesters guard the barricade in front of riot police in Kiev, on January 28, 2014. The prime minister of protest-torn Ukraine submitted his resignation on Tuesday, saying he hoped the move would help bring peaceful resolution to the crisis that has gripped the country for two months. Mykola Azarov's resignation would remove one of the figures most despised by the opposition. It came as the parliament opened a special session that repealed most of the harsh anti-protest laws that were imposed this month.




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36. Ukrainian opposition leader and former WBC heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko (center) smiles as he talks to lawmakers in the parliament session hall, in Kiev, on January 28, 2014. In back-to-back moves to try resolving Ukraine's political crisis, the prime minister submitted his resignation Tuesday and parliament repealed anti-protest laws that had set off violent clashes between protesters and police.




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37. A pile of gas masks are made available to anti-government protestors inside the occupied Ukrainian House convention center on January 28, 2014.




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38. Photo taken on January 28, 2014 shows an anti-government protester's shield and baton near a road block in Kiev. Ukrainian lawmakers scrapped draconian anti-protest laws that have angered the opposition, in a move aimed at bringing a deadly two-month standoff to an end.