Ukrainian parliament fires interior minister

MARIA DANILOVA YURAS KARMANAU Associated Press Published:

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukraine's newly empowered parliament has voted to remove the interior minister, widely blamed for ordering police violence against protesters.

Legislators in the Verhovna Rada fired Vitali Zakharchenko on Friday evening after a fast-moving day of efforts to defuse months of political crisis.

The vote came shortly after the parliament restored new powers to itself by reinstating a 10-year-old constitution that limits presidential authority.

Zakharchenko is deeply despised by the protesters, whom he calls extremists.

Scores of people have been killed in clashes this week.