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Ukraine disbands riot police unit

English.news.cn   2014-02-26 18:24:22
 • Ukraine's riot police force has been disbanded following accusations of violent attacks on protesters.
 • Anti-government protesters blamed the elite unit for violent attacks against a peaceful demonstration.
 • The whereabouts of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych are still unknown.

 

KIEV, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine's riot police force has been disbanded following accusations of violent attacks on protesters, the acting interior minister said Wednesday.

Arsen Avakov revealed on his Facebook page that he has signed a decree to disband the unit, known as Berkut in Ukrainian.

Anti-government protesters blamed the elite unit, which was two decades old and had 4,000-5,000 members, for violent attacks against a peaceful demonstration protesting the government's decision to hold back on its EU entrance progress.

The protests, which started in November, turned violent on Feb. 18, when protesters allegedly attacked police with Molotov cocktails and set fires outside the parliament, while police reportedly responded with stun grenades and water cannons. The standoff left at least 77 people dead and hundreds of others injured.

The whereabouts of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych are still unknown after he reportedly left the capital city last Friday to take part in a regional meeting in Kharkov, near the Russian border.

Related:

Yanukovych wanted for suspected premeditated murder

KIEV, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has been put on the wanted list for suspected premeditated murder during the three-month massive protests, acting Prosecutor General Oleh Makhnytsky said Tuesday. Full story

Ukraine's ruling party blames Yanukovych for violence

KIEV, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian ruling Party of Regions on Sunday blamed the dismissed President Viktor Yanukovych for issuing orders that led to violence and the deaths of people during the anti-government demonstrations.

"We condemn the criminal orders, that harmed the ordinary people, soldiers and officers," the Party of Regions said in a press statement, which was published by the local media.  Full story

Ukraine in power vacuum after president ousted

KIEV, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Dramatic changes were witnessed in Ukraine Saturday as the country's parliament ousted President Viktor Yanukovich after more than three months of violent protests, and released Yanukovich's arch-rival Yulia Tymoshenko. Full story

Editor: Lu Hui
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