MOSCOW, February 21 (RAPSI) - Ukrainian Presdient Viktor Yanukovich on Friday declared that he is intitating the return to the 2004 constitution with redestributing power towards parliamentary republic form of government.

Yanukovich also announced early presidential elections and called for creation of a national trust government in the Ukraine.

Unrest in Kiev erupted around noon Tuesday as thousands of people marched on the parliament building, where a standoff was taking place over proposed constitutional reforms that the opposition said could provide a way out of the political crisis that is paralyzing the country. The violence that ensued lasted for hours and resulted in numerous deaths and hundreds of injuries.

Fighting between radical anti-government protesters and police has claimed at least 80 lives over three days, according to the Interior Ministry.

Mass protests initially erupted in late November after the government backed away from deals to deepen political and economic cooperation with the European Union and instead opted for closer ties with Russia.

Although at first discontent was focused on that about-face move on EU ties, protests have since taken on a more general anti-government quality, calling for the president’s ouster and early elections.