Ukraine president announces early elections

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KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has announced early presidential elections and promised to form a coalition government in a bid to defuse a deep crisis in which scores have been killed and hundreds injured.

There was no immediate comment from opposition leaders, who were meeting among themselves.

In a statement on his website, Yanukovych said he would start the process for early elections but gave no date. He also promised constitutional reforms trimming presidential powers, a key demand of protesters.

The conflict is a battle over the identity of Ukraine, a nation of 46 million that has divided loyalties between Russia and the West.