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Vitali Klitschko 'likely to stand for Ukraine president'

ITV News Europe Editor James Mates reports from Ukraine:

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Former heavyweight champ Vitali Klitchko confirms to me he's very likely to stand for President. No 1 issue: anti-corruption #euromaidan

Ukraine takes its first tentative steps towards regime change: Latest updates

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Klitschko signed peace deal 'to stop the fighting'

ITV News' Europe Editor James Mates is in Kiev:

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Vitali Klitchko, 1 of Ukraine's greatest sporting heroes, booed and whistled by crowd as he tried to persuade them to accept the peace deal

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Despite his enormous size, protestors had no fear haranguing Klitchko as he walked through crowd. He told us 'I had to stop the fighting'.

Vitali Klitschko blames Ukrainian president for unrest

Opposition leader and former heavyweight boxer Vitali Klitschko says Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych is responsible for the violent unrest that has engulfed the country's capital Kiev.

Speaking to ITV News Europe Correspondent Emma Murphy in Kiev, Mr Klitschko said he was "very worried" for the future of his country.

Asked who he blamed for the conflict, he replied: "The man who has absolute power in our country - President Viktor Yanukovych".

Klitschko: Police action will not lead to compromise

Heavyweight boxing champion and opposition leader, Vitali Klitschko.
Heavyweight boxing champion and opposition leader, Vitali Klitschko. Credit: REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Vitali Klitschko, the leader of the Ukranian opposition party, believes overnight action against anti-government protesters by police in Kiev to remove barricades and tents from a camp has closed the path to any kind of compromise.

Read: The toppling of Lenin pleases only one half of Ukraine

Klitschko: 'Decisive moment for Ukraine'

Boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko told the crowd of anti-government demonstrators in Kiev that their protests must remain peaceful.

"We do not want to be kept quiet by a policeman's truncheon," he said.

Mr Klitschko is the leader of the opposition Udar (Punch) party Credit: REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Mr Klitschko, the leader of the opposition Udar (Punch) party, is increasingly seen as a national leader-in-waiting.

Addressing the anti-government protests in Ukraine's capital of Kiev, he demanded the release of political prisoners, the resignation of the government and early elections.

"This is a decisive moment when all Ukrainians have gathered here because they don't want to live in a country where corruption rules and where there is no justice," the leader of the opposition Udar (Punch) party said.

Read: Hundreds of thousands attend rally in Kiev

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Klitschko meets protesters as leaders prepare for talks

Heavyweight boxing champion and opposition party leader Vitali Klitschko met demonstrators in Kiev and urged them not to give up control of Independence Square in the capital.

Boxing champion Vitali Klitschko greets protesters in Kiev. Credit: REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

Thousands of protesters are reportedly still in the capital waiting for new demonstrations against President Viktor Yanukovych over the government's decision to suspend preparations to sign a landmark trade pact with the EU.

Protesters try to break through police lines near the presidential administration building. Credit: REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Talks between the government and opposition will reportedly be held later today.

Boxer Vitali Klitschko to run for Ukrainian presidency

World boxing champion Vitali Klitschko has formally announced that he will run in the Ukrainian presidential election in 2015, the Moscow Times reports.

Vitali Klitschko
Vitali Klitschko Credit: Maurizio Gambarini/DPA/Press Association Images

"To put an end to all speculation and attempts to dispose of me as a possible candidate I want to announce that I am running for president," Klitschko is cited as saying in parliament.

The 42-year-old heavyweight boxer founded the opposition Udar party in 2010 and has campaigned to bring "European standards of life" to the former Soviet country.

His bid for the presidency could be thwarted by a new bill ruling out candidates that have not lived in Ukraine for the last 10 years.

Watch: Ukraine MPs brawl for the second time in two days

Vitali 'Dr Ironfist' Klitschko bids for Ukraine presidency

A Ukrainian boxer Vitali Klitschko known as "Dr. Ironfist" has announced he plans to run for the country's presidency in 2015, the state-run Ukrinform News Agency reported.

Dr Ironfist, otherwise known as Ukrainian boxer Vitali Klitschko. Credit: Maurizio Gambarini/DPA/Press Association Images

Klitschko, 42, said from the Ukrainian parliament rostrum in the capital city of Kiev: "I want to say that I cannot be intimidated or stopped.

"In order to put an end to various attempts to get rid of me as a possible candidate, I want to say that I'm running for president."

With a professional boxing record of 47 wins (41 KOs) and two losses, the 6-foot, 7½-inch heavyweight is the leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform party.

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