• The Washington Post

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The European Union’s top diplomat told reporters in Brussels on Thursday that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had “made it clear to me that he intends to sign” a trade agreement with the bloc. But protesters weren’t buying it and spent the day bolstering the five formidable barricades of snow and ice that protect their long-running encampment.

Yanukovych, who backed out of signing the EU agreement in November, has said all along that he still wants to pursue a deal, even as he also pursues another one with Russia. Skepticism about Yanukovych’s utterances runs deep among Ukrainians, but if he really means what he says this time, it could be because Western governments have emphasized that Wednesday’s botched police raid in Independence Square has emboldened his opposition and left him with a very small ledge to stand on.

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