(QHA) -

Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych met with opposition leaders as riot police cleared the site of violent clashes in Kyiv on January 22. 

The presidential press service said that Yanukovych was meeting in the capital with Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Vitali Klitschko, and Oleh Tuyahnybok, in an effort to stem the ongoing crisis over antigovernment demonstrations, RFE/RL repots.

The talks came after at least three people were killed, including two who died of gunshot wounds. One of the victims was identified as Serhiy Nihoyan, a 20-year-old ethnic Armenian.

They were the first fatalities since antigovernment protests began in Ukraine two months ago, triggered by Yanukovych's decision to pull out of an agreement on closer ties with the European Union.

Yanukovych had previously refused to personally take part in crisis talks with the opposition. Earlier on January 22, he urged protesters not to follow "political radicals" and said he had ordered an investigation into the protesters' deaths.

QHA