Breaking News: Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych on sick leave following an “acute respiratory disease, fever," amid protests.
Ukraine's embattled president Viktor Yanukovych is taking sick leave as the country's political crisis continues with no sign of resolution.
A statement on the presidential website on Thursday said Yanukovych is on sick leave due to an acute respiratory illness and high fever. There was no indication of how long he might be on leave or whether he would be able to do any work.
Yanukovych is under pressure after two months of major protests seeking his resignation, early elections and other demands.
In one of a series of moves aimed at resolving the crisis, Ukraine's parliament approved a law on Wednesday that would grant an amnesty to arrested protesters but – to the opposition's fury – depended on the demonstrators vacating all occupied government buildings.
After 12 hours of negotiations the amnesty law was passed amid applause from the ruling party and angry shouts of "shame!" from the opposition.
Protesters are holding three administrative buildings in Kiev, including the building housing the city administration.
Yuri Miroshnychenko, Yanukovych's representative in parliament, said the protesters would now have to leave the buildings. But he insisted the opposition headquarters in Trade Union House, as well as Independence Square and Khreschatyk Street, where the protest camp is located, would not be touched.
The offer was quickly greeted with contempt by opposition protesters. Vitali Klitschko, leader of the opposition UDAR party, said the law "will only increase the temperature in society", while Andriy Parubiy of the Batkivshchyna party called the demands unacceptable. "No one will comply with them," he said.