“Ukraine's president is on a sick leave in connection with an acute respiratory disease accompanied by high fever,” Alexander Orda, the presidential staff's deputy health chief, said in a statement posted on Yanukovich's official website Thursday morning.
The announcement came a day after Yanukovich compelled parliament to sign a conditional amnesty for more than 100 detained participants in
The conflict raged for most of last week and left at least four protesters dead, hundreds injured on both sides and dozens of protesters detained in Kiev and elsewhere in the country.
Protesters also clashed with police and captured key government and municipal buildings in more than a dozen regional centers across Ukraine.
Both steps were part of a compromise between Yanukovich and the opposition leaders to prevent further fighting, which has already turned Grushevsky Street in central Kiev into a battlefield with carcasses of burned police buses still used by protesters as barricades.
The amnesty hinges on the return of all captured government premises within 15 days.
The protesters insisted on immediate and unconditional amnesty. When parliament, which is controlled by Yanukovich's allies, adopted the conditional amnesty late Wednesday, opposition leader
Some analysts noted that while Yanukovich's illness may give both sides time to regroup, it could be more beneficial to the president, who has seemingly been cornered by the opposition's mounting pressure.
The opposition continues to demand early elections for the presidency and parliament as the key condition for ending street protests.