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Ex-minister hurt in clashes in Ukrainian capital

English.news.cn   2014-01-11 21:24:58            

KIEV, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Leading Ukrainian opposition figure and former Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko was hospitalized Saturday after being hurt in clashes here between anti-government protesters and the police.

Local media outlets said Lutsenko was hit on the head in the early hours of Saturday. Lutsenko's wife was quoted as saying that he was currently in intensive care.

A total of 11 opposition members were sent to hospital following the violence outside a court, which on Friday sentenced three people to six years behind bars for attempting to blow up a statue of Vladimir Lenin in 2011, according to local media.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's Interior Ministry said some 20 of its officers were injured in the clashes, the latest in the month-long face-off between the opposition and government over whether Kiev should partner with the European Union (EU) or Russia economically.

Lutsenko, 49, served under pro-Western former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. He was jailed for embezzlement and abuse of power in 2010 but was pardoned in 2013.

Upon his pardon, he founded the Third Republic group, which focuses on European integration and de-monopolization of the economy.

Lutsenko, believed to be mulling a run in the 2015 presidential race, has said that integration with the EU would improve instead of hurting Ukraine's economy.

Ukraine has been pestered with protests since late 2013 when President Viktor Yanukovych pulled out of a deal with the EU while striking another with Russia that gave Ukraine a better price for gas imports.

Editor: Mengjie
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