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New armed forces chief in Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Officials in Ukraine are making it clear that the country's army is ready to act against anti-government protesters.

Ukraine's embattled president, Viktor Yanukovych, today replaced the army chief. The move came a day after 25 people were killed and over 425 were injured in clashes between police and protesters at a protest camp in the Ukrainian capital.

And it came as the military said it would take part in what was described as a national anti-terrorist operation to restore order. Officials often refer to the protesters demanding the president's resignation as "terrorists."

The violence is the worst in nearly three months of anti-government protests that have paralyzed the capital, Kiev. The two sides are locked in a stalemate over the identity of Ukraine -- where loyalties are divided between Russia and the West. The protests began after Yanukovych turned away from a deal with the European Union in exchange for a bailout from Russia.

For a second straight night, fires are burning at the barricades in central Kiev. Hours earlier, demonstrators forced their way into the main post office on Independence Square, after a nearby building they had previously occupied was burned down yesterday.

Neither side appears willing to compromise. The opposition insists that the president step down, while Yanukovych is prepared to fight till the end.

In Moscow, the Kremlin has put its next bailout installment on hold, amid uncertainty over Ukraine's future.