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Parliament fires official behind crackdown

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KIEV, Ukraine — 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 today 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.

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