Residence of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovish is unguarded, and journalists are entering freely, according to Interfax Reuters.
Ukraine lawmakers elect Oleksander Turchynov, close ally of jailed opposition leader Tymosneko, as parliament speaker. [Reuters]
Eastern regions of Ukraine say country must stay together but question the legitimacy of latest decisions by parliament in Kiev. [Reuters]
A spokeswoman for Yulia Tymoshenko says the former Ukrainian prime minister and opposition leader has been released from prison.
Natasha Lysova told The Associated Press that Tymoshenko was released from her prison in Kharkiv on Saturday. She did not have further details.
Tymoshenko is the arch-rival of President Viktor Yanukovich and her arrest in 2011 and conviction on charges of abuse of office were widely seen as a case of political revenge.
The claim of her release comes one day after the Ukrainian parliament voted to decriminalise the charge on which she was convicted.
Ukraine's government, still led by an ally of embattled President Viktor Yanukovich, said on Saturday it would ensure a smooth handover of power to a new administration.
"The cabinet of ministers and ministry of finance are working normally," the government said in a statement.
"The current government will provide a fully responsible transfer of power under the constitution and legislation."
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Saturday urged the Ukrainian government and the opposition to
respect a peace deal agreed a day earlier to end the ex-Soviet country's worst crisis since independence.
"It is now up to the two sides in the conflict - the government as well as the opposition - to stick to what was agreed and to begin building a relationship of trust," he said in a statement.
Governors and regional legislators in eastern Ukraine question authority of national parliament, AP reports.
Ukrainian parliament speaker and Yanukovich ally, Volodymyr Rybak, submitted his resignation on Saturday, citing ill health.
His move came as protesters in the Ukrainian capital Kiev claimed full control of the city, following the signing of a Western-brokered peace deal aimed at ending the nation's three-month political crisis.
The announcement of Rybak's resignation was made by the vice-speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament at a parliament session on Saturday at which lawmakers also discussed impeaching President Viktor Yanukovich and setting a quick date for new elections to end a crisis over Ukraine's identity and future direction.
Jailed Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko will soon be released in the northeastern city of Kharkiv, where she is being treated in hospital, her daughter signalled on Saturday.
Yevgenia Tymoshenko said she was going to Kharkiv to meet her mother, who was jailed in 2011 for seven years for abuse of office linked to a gas deal and is a bitter rival of President Viktor Yanukovich.
"According to Ukrainian law my mum is already a free person," Yevgenia Tymoshenko told reporters following a vote in parliament to speed up procedures for her release.
A spokeswoman for the former prime minister, 53, said that although the moves in parliament already made her a free woman, Tymoshenko had not yet been released or left the hospital where she is receiving treatment for a back problem.
Natasha Lysova told The Associated Press earlier on Saturday that Tymoshenko had been released from the prison.
Source: Reuters, AP
A member of Ukraine's parliament said on Saturday that President Viktor Yanukovich has promised to submit his
resignation in response to violence that left nearly 80 dead in anti-government unrest.
Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) opposition party lawmaker Mykola Katerynchuk told reporters that Ukraine's embattled leader said he would resign in a conversation with protest leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
The heads of four Ukrainian security bodies, including the police's Berkut anti-riot units, appeared in parliament on Saturday and declared they would not take part in any conflict with the people.
They represented the paratroop unit of the military, the Berkut anti-riot police, Alfa special operations unit and military intelligence.
The Interior Ministry had already signalled its allegiance to anti-government protests under a new minister from the ranks of the opposition.
Ukraine's embattled President Viktor Yanukovich has accused the opposition of staging a coup and has refused to give into demands to resign, according to AFP news agency.
He told local television station on Saturday that "everything happening today can primarily be described as vandalism, banditry and a coup d'etat. That is my assessment".
"I am not leaving the country for anywhere. I do not intend to resign. I am the legitimately elected president," Yanukovich told the television station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
The embattled leader said he felt that his own security and the safety "of people close to me" was being threatened by protesters who had taken control of large parts of central Kiev after deadly clashes left about 80 dead.
He said decisions made by parliament on Friday and Saturday "are all illegal" and compared the situation to the rise of Nazis in the 1930s. He said he would not sign any of the measures passed by parliament, which include trimming his powers and releasing his jailed arch-rival, ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
The president said his car had been shot at, adding: "But I have no fear. I am overwhelmed by grief for our country. I feel responsibility."
He added that he had been given "security guarantees" by international mediators who helped him and the opposition sign a political pact on Friday aimed at ending the country's three-month crisis.
Ukraine's army has also ruled out any involvement in the current crisis rocking the country.
"The army will in no way become involved in the political conflict," it said in a statement on Saturday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday the opposition in Ukraine had failed to deliver on the February 21 agreement with President Viktor Yanukovich.
The Foreign Ministry said that was the message Lavrov conveyed to his German, Polish and French counterparts - the
European Union trio that helped reach the deal between the rival sides in Kiev - on the phone on Saturday.
"The opposition not only has failed to fulfil a single of its obligations but is already presenting new demands all the time, following the lead of armed extremists and pogromists whose actions pose direct threat to Ukraine's sovereignty and constitutional order," Lavrov told the EU ministers, according to a statement on the Russian Foreign Ministry's website.
The dramatic events in Kiev on Saturday do not amount to a coup, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said, after the Ukrainian president accused the emboldened opposition of a coup d'etat as it asserted control in the capital.
"No coup in Kiev. (Government) buildings got abandoned," Sikorski tweeted, adding that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has 24 hours to sign into law constitutional reforms agreed under a peace deal on Friday, which Poland helped broker.
Ukraine parliament has voted to dismiss President Viktor Yanukovich and has set election for May 25, according to Reuters news agency.
The parliament declared Yanukovich constitutionally unable to carry out his duties on Saturday.
Deputies in the assembly stood, applauded and sang the national anthem.
Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko was freed on Saturday from the hospital where she had been held under prison guard for most of the time since she was convicted in 2011.
The former prime minister, a bitter rival of President Viktor Yanukovich, waved to supporters from a car as she was
driven out of the hospital in the northeastern city if Kharkiv, a Reuters photographer said.
Tymoshenko, 53, was jailed in 2011 for abuse of office over a gas deal with Russia but her supporters and Western leaders say her trial was politically motivated.
Germany and France on Saturday urged the Ukrainian government and the opposition to respect a peace deal agreed a day earlier to end the ex-Soviet country's worst crisis since independence.
"It is now up to the two sides in the conflict - the government as well as the opposition - to stick to what was agreed and to begin building a relationship of trust," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in
a statement, as the regime of President Viktor Yanukovich appeared close to collapse after months of protests.
"The situation remains extremely fragile," Steinmeier said, adding that the priority now was for both parties to hold talks on forming a stable government acceptable to all sides.
"It is perhaps the last chance to come to a peaceful development for the future of Ukraine," he warned.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius meanwhile called on both sides "to refrain from violence and adhere to the agreement they reached", according to a ministry spokesman.
Britain said it would work with EU partners to back a new government in Ukraine and welcomed reports that imprisoned opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko was being released, Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a
statement on Saturday.
"We will work closely with our EU partners in support of a new government in Ukraine, as and when that is formed," he said.
Nick Schifrin, foreign correspondent with Al Jazeera's sister channel, Al Jazeera America, reports from Kiev.