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Police storm protest camps in Ukraine, clashes continue

English.news.cn   2013-12-11 16:35:18            
• Ukrainian riot police stormed protests camps in Kiev on Wednesday, triggering another wave of clashes.
• Police surrounded the camps, trying to dismantle barricades and tents set up by protesters.
• The Interior Ministry claimed that the move was to clear roads and was not to end the demonstrations.

 

KIEV, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian riot police stormed protests camps in central Kiev on Wednesday, triggering another wave of clashes between police and demonstrators calling for European integration.

Wearing helmets and holding shields, thousands of police surrounded the camps early in the day, trying to dismantle the barricades and tents set up by the protesters in the Independence Square.

The Interior Ministry claimed after the event the move was to clear roads in central Kiev and was not to end the demonstrations.

The action was met with strong resistance from the protesters and at least 10 policemen were hurt during the clashes, according to the ministry.

Local media also reported dozens of injuries to demonstrators, several of whom were taken to hospital and others given treatment on the spot.

Several demonstrators were detained by police for reportedly firing tear gas and spraying water at officers.

The protests started 20 days ago with peaceful demonstrations demanding the country's European integration, but soon snowballing into a violent nationwide movement against authorities.

Ukraine pulled out of signing a partnership agreement that would deepen its ties with the EU at the Eastern Partnership Summit in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius last month, triggering the protests.

Furious at both the government's decision and the violent dispersal of earlier demonstrations, the protesters are now demanding the impeachment of President Viktor Yanukovych, resignation of the government and disbandment of parliament.

The latest confrontation came as western envoys, U.S. assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, are in the city trying to defuse the crisis through negotiation.

Ashton has already expressed her disappointment with "the use of force to disperse peaceful people" in downtown Kiev.

"Authorities did not have to operate under the cover of darkness to begin dialogue with the society with the help of police," Ashton was quoted by Interfax-Ukraine news agency as saying.

Opposition leaders, who were on the square through the night, condemned the actions of the police and urged protesters to continue campaigning for Ukraine's European future and against the government.

Related:

Protest continues in Ukraine as gov't investigates attempts to seize power

KIEV, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian Security Service said Sunday it had been investigating opposition leaders suspected of attempting to seize power amid the anti-government protests that have gripped the country since late last month.

The anti-government rally in Kiev, the national capital of Ukraine, was attended by hundreds of thousands of people Sunday, with a group of anti-government protesters toppling the statue of Vladimir Lenin in Kiev to vent their anger toward their government 's decision to seek closer economic ties with Russia instead of with the European Union (EU).  Full story

 

 

Editor: Chen Zhi
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