Ukraine President Offers Some Concessions to Protesters

But it doesn't look like they'll do much good


KIEV, Ukraine‚ÄĒPresident Viktor Yanukovych reached out to protesters camped on the capital's central square, pledging to free some jailed demonstrators and to find a way to strengthen ties with the European Union.

But neither Mr. Yanukovych's concessions, made during a televised meeting Tuesday with three former presidents, nor appeals made by U.S. and EU officials arriving in Kiev seemed likely to end the country's biggest political crisis in nearly a decade.

Despite freezing weather and snowfall, the few thousand protesters camped on Kiev's Independence Square showed no signs of thinning. The opposition insisted protesters would stay until Mr. Yanukovych fired his government and punished police who had beaten demonstrators in clashes more than a week ago.

Opposition leaders said they hadn't received an invitation to the roundtable talks proposed by the president and said they wouldn't take part in what they called a public-relations exercise in any case.