Three months of political unrest, one week of horrific internecine violence, a few frenetic hours of negotiations -- it all culminated in a breakthrough deal In Ukraine to cut the president's powers, reinvent the Constitution and pave the way to free a key opposition leader.
These developments Friday gave hope to the Eastern European nation. But as long as angry protesters pack Kiev's Maidan, or Independence Square, as long as the emotions remain raw, as long as the bloodshed is still fresh, this story isn't over.
"I feel very proud of Ukrainians because we showed we are able to struggle for our future, our freedom," said Sophia Holotna, whose friend was among the scores of demonstrators killed in the capital.
"But now I feel almost very sadness. It's my first feeling."
The agreement -- hashed out overnight and into the afternoon among Ukrainian leaders, opposition figures and European Union representatives -- drew some cheers when it was announced to the Maidan crowd.
One of the main opposition leaders, Vitali Klitschko, took the stage a short time later. He got a notably frostier reception, contending that the government was trying to divide the protesters, before walking off to a handful of jeers.
Later, a protester -- not a leader, not part of any political group, just an ordinary Ukrainian he insisted -- expressed disappointment with the deal and proposed that action should be taken if President Viktor Yanukovych doesn't resign by 10 a.m. Saturday.
Another protester, Viola Danis, said simply the deal is "not enough."
"This agreement does not pay for the life of my friend and the lives of the Ukrainian people," she said.
As the crisis brewed in Kiev, a senior U.S. State Department official -- who talked to reporters on condition of not being identified and who had just been on the phone with Ukraine's foreign minister -- said that Yanukovych had gone to Kharkiv, Ukraine's second's largest city, for a meeting. The same official characterized such travel to eastern Ukraine by the President as "not unusual."
While the government revolves around Yanukovych, there is not a single face of the opposition. Its demonstrators have strong and varying opinions about what they'd accept -- and what they'd be willing to do if these standards aren't met.
Thus, while there is an apparent truce, there's not peace in the Ukraine. Uncertainty, anger and anxiety still predominating, helping to paralyze parts of this Eastern European nation.
"It's not possible to work in this environment, not to study, (not) to do nothing," said another protester by the name of Alexei. "Basically everything has stopped and we're waiting for this situation to resolve. And it's really exhausting."
Deal calls for cutting powers, end to occupation
Friday was a day of action -- but unlike on Tuesday and Thursday, thankfully, the action happened in meeting rooms and Parliament, rather than in pitched battles on the streets.
The first, biggest announcement on this front was the landmark agreement calling for cutting the president's power and rolling back the Constitution to what it had been in 2004. According to a draft posted on the German Foreign Office's website, further constitutional reforms must be completed by September.
"Good compromise for Ukraine. Gives peace a chance. Opens the way to reform and to Europe," Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said via Twitter.
The deal also requires presidential elections "as soon as the new Constitution is adopted but no later than December 2014."
And there will be an investigation -- conducted by government authorities, opposition figures and European Council representatives -- into the violence.
By then, security forces should've long ago stepped back from a" confrontational posture" with permission to use force only to protect pubic buildings, per the agreement. And within 48 hours, protesters should have turned in their illegal weapons and withdrawn from streets and public buildings.