Talk of a truce in Ukraine after days of bloodshed

Interior Ministry members stand in formation in front of anti-government protesters during a rally in central Kiev. Photo: REUTERS/Viktor Gurniak

Condemnation of the violence in Ukraine came from the western world today, as the country's President tried and failed to crush protesters.

From Washington, from London, from Brussels, there have been calls for Government forces to be pulled back following Tuesday night's bloodshed.

And tonight, it appears the pressure may have prevailed as Ukraine's president Viktor Yanukovich agreed to a truce with the opposition and has begun negotiations, reportedly agreeing not to attack protesters in Independence Square in Kiev - the focal point of the most recent violence.

ITV News Europe Editor James Mates reports from Kiev:

President Yanukovich also appointed a new head of the armed forces today following Tuesday night of violence.

He named Admiral Yury Ilyin, who had been head of the navy, to succeed Colonel-General Volodymyr Zamana.

The presidential decree gave no explanation for the change in personnel, nor for the timing of the appointments.

Anti-government protesters burn documents by the public prosecution office in the town of Ternopil in western Ukraine. Credit: REUTERS/Rostyslav Kovalchuk

Today The Ukrainian Health Ministry published a statement saying 26 people have died as result of clashes in the country, 10 of them were policemen, since Tuesday.

A total of 388 protesters have been injured in the violence and 263 of them remain in hospital, according to the statement. 371 policemen have also been injured - 74 of them with gunshot wounds

A total of 26 people have died in violent clashes in Ukraine. Credit: Reuters

Read: Protesters seek refuge in Kiev cathedral after clashes

David Cameron has said he is "deeply concerned by the scenes in Ukraine and that President Yanukovych has "particular responsibility to pull back government forces and de-escalate the situation".

He said: “Violence is not the way to resolve the political differences across the country. The President needs to engage with the opposition and work with all sides in Ukraine to agree political reforms that reflect the democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people.

Prime Minister David Cameron. Credit: Press Association.

"There must be a clear commitment to the rule of law, respect for fundamental human rights and civil freedoms."

The Prime Minister added: "This is a critical moment for the future of Ukraine."

"Working with our international partners, we will do all we can to help return Ukraine to the path to stability, democracy and prosperity and tomorrow the Foreign Secretary will join other European foreign ministers in Brussels to discuss the European response.

”President Yanukovych should be under no doubt that the world is watching his actions and that those responsible for violence will be held accountable.”

Read: EU may have a powerful trump card in tug of war with Moscow