Protesters say NO!
That stance reflected their growing confidence after the abrupt withdrawal of riot police from parts of Ukraine's capital early Wednesday raised protesters' hopes that weeks of demonstrations have eroded police support for Yanukovych and his government.
Yanukovych issued an invitation late in the day to political, religious and civil figures to join a national dialogue. But it gave no details about a proposed date for the talks — and could have been merely an attempt to buy time and mollify Western officials.
The opposition reaction was scathing.
"Instead of a round table, what we got is a breakup (with) truncheons. The authorities are driving into a dead end," opposition leader Oleksandr Turchynov said.
Yuri Lutsenko, a former Interior Minister who is now another opposition leader, said the police retreat shows that "basically only some units remain" loyal to Yanukovych.
"This is a great victory," Arseniy Yatsenyuk, leader of the largest opposition party in parliament, said of the police withdrawal. He spoke from the stage at Kiev's central Independence Square, where protesters have set up an extensive protest tent camp manned around the clock.