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April 20, 2014

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Ukraine disbands police unit accused of violence

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 | 12:19 a.m.

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's acting interior minister says he has disbanded a feared riot police force that many accuse of attacks on protesters.

Arsen Avakov wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday that he has signed a decree to disband the force known as Berkut.

Anti-government protesters have blamed Berkut for violent attacks against a peaceful demonstrators protesting authorities decision to ditch closer ties with the European Union and turn to Moscow instead.

Ukraine has been consumed by a three-month-long political crisis. President Viktor Yanukovych and protest leaders signed an agreement last week to end the conflict that left more than 80 people dead in just a few days in Kiev. Shortly after, Yanukovych fled the capital for his powerbase in eastern Ukraiune but his exact whereabouts are unknown.