Protesters, Police Clash in Ukraine in March on Parliament© REUTERS/ Konstantin Chernichkin
Protesters, Police Clash in Ukraine in March on Parliament© REUTERS/ Vlad Sodel
Protesters, Police Clash in Ukraine in March on Parliament© REUTERS/ Konstantin Chernichkin
Protesters, Police Clash in Ukraine in March on Parliament© REUTERS/ Gleb Garanich
Originally posted at 13:30, updated throughout the day
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KIEV, February 18 (RIA Novosti) – Anti-government protesters and police engaged in violent street battles that left hundreds injured and at least ten dead, including three police officers, in Ukraine’s capital on Tuesday.
The capital’s police department said in a statement that three police officers died and 184 were injured, 35 of them critically. By late Tuesday, 159 officers have been admitted to city hospitals.
A Kiev police spokesman said that seven civilians also died as a result of the clashes. Two of them died of heart failure, one was killed in a car accident, one in fire and three were shot dead.
Fighting escalated in Kiev as a standoff played out inside parliament, where deputies faced off over changes to the constitution that the opposition has said could be a way out of the political paralysis gripping the country.
Thousands of radical demonstrators moving toward the parliament building around midday – many of them wielding shields and sticks, and wearing masks – were confronted by police who deployed rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas. Pictures from the front lines showed rioters ripping up cobblestones to hurl at police.
Riot police pushed the crowd back to barricades surrounding the central Independence Square. The area was cordoned off on Tuesday evening and police attempted to disperse the crowd using stun grenades and smoke pellets. At least one water cannon was also used.
Protesters responded by throwing Molotov cocktails and firecrackers at officers. Fires erupted in several areas.
A lawmaker with the ruling Party of Regions, Oleh Tsaryov, vowed shortly after that the Independence Square rally will be dispersed “in an hour.”
“We will restore order in Kiev and then will restore it around the country,” he said.
The crowd also seized the capital's city hall, which served as the headquarters of the major anti-government protest in Ukraine for nearly two months. The building was unblocked on Sunday after authorities freed all demonstrators who had been detained since the unrest erupted.
Kiev police said a group of young people, armed with truncheons, also attacked the Canadian Embassy where they “smashed property and attempted to hurt employees of the diplomatic mission.”
Police also said a truck, apparently hijacked by protesters, rammed a group of people, injuring three. The vehicle was later set on fire.
Lesya Orobets, a deputy with the opposition Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party, said on her Facebook page that at least three protesters had been killed. Radio Free Europe cited opposition medic Olga Bogomolets as also saying from a first aid center near parliament that three people had been killed and seven were in a serious condition.
The Interior Ministry confirmed reports of six dead early Tuesday evening and said police were investigating the matter.
Police earlier said one person was killed at the headquarters of the ruling Party of Regions, which was stormed by demonstrators Tuesday.
Ukrainian officials said early Tuesday evening that if rioting did not die down within two hours – by 6 p.m. local time – authorities would be obliged to restore order by means provided for by law.
Operation of the Kiev metro was suspended amid the clashes, and passengers were told to disembark as the trains came to a halt across the city.
A Defense Ministry spokesperson said the seizure of a military building in the city earlier in the day by protestors would provoke an appropriate response by the military, according to the Russian state newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta.
Opposition deputies in parliament blocked the speaker’s rostrum Tuesday in protest against pro-government deputies’ refusal to register a bill introducing reform to the constitution.
The bill was eventually registered, the opposition Svoboda party said later Tuesday on Twitter.
Opposition forces are seeking the restoration of the 2004 constitution, which they say would ensure a way out of the political crisis by transferring more powers to parliament from the president.
A spokesperson for the country’s legislature said that none of the draft resolutions to restore the 2004 constitution submitted Tuesday for consideration by the body had met a requirement of 150 signatures to bring them to the floor.
The Party of Regions has said it is willing to review the law but has refused to automatically return to a previous version.
Moscow reiterated Tuesday that the worsening situation in downtown Kiev is a result of Western interference in the country’s politics, according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Large-scale street protests erupted in Kiev and other Ukrainian cities in November after President Viktor Yanukovych backed away from deals to deepen political and economic cooperation with the European Union and instead opted for closer ties with Russia.
The protests have sporadically descended into violence on both sides.
Yanukovych has said he is ready to appoint a coalition government that includes members of the opposition, the speaker of parliament said last week.
Updated with recent developments, fresh casualty figures
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- mythoslightThe Ukrainian government...14:51, 18/02/2014....legitimate and supported by an overwhelming majority, should henceforth address not these "Stormtruppen" of thugs and Nazis forming the western mob, but the US and Nuland directly, who effectively are the ones waging war against Ukraine.
Second, it should clear the streets already since western war-mongering media have tried their best to paint them as "peaceful" girlscouts out in the field, but failed miserably. Just like their wahhabi freaks in Syria, these Nazis will come back and bite their arses too.
Should these measures fail and Nuland/Kagan/McCain instead decide´s to go for civil war (and risk their eagerly awaited southern part & Black Sea coastline prize) Ukraine would be well advised to require help from it´s allies, Russia, most notably.
- R.Deus-von HomeyerRE:The destiny of Ukraine19:18, 19/02/2014Last night I listened to the interview on CNN with McCAIN(the all American-Vietnam hero.
He said,that Ukraine should be allowed to enter the EU and become a stabile,fully democratical and economically progressive country".
The PROBLEM is,that McCaincompletelly forgot to ask US,Germans,French, British,Soaniard a.s.o. IF WE want to give membership to Ukraine?
We,Germans are FED UP(completelly) of bankrupt countries as Greece,Cyprus,Portugal,Ireland,Spain.We are fed up of bailing them out and if the German Govermnet makes a REFERENDUMthe majorityof the Germans will say:"NO!" to Ukraine.
The Ukraininas want to enter the EU,sothat they can come to Germany or UK or France and work here as the salaries are higher than in Ukraine.
Do they think theywillfind work? There are 8 millions Germans and foreigner sliving permanently in Germany without work.
- R.Deus-von HomeyerRE:American dreams19:26, 19/02/2014What the USA wants is ,that Ukraine enters European Union.
One of the condition will be(as it happened in Bulgaria and Romania),that UKRAINA joins the NATO.
Once Ukraine is amember of the NATO,our BELOVED American friends(that is hoe our Government in Berlin addresses USA) will position their US Trooops on the Ukrainian/Russian border,so that they can greet their Russian "broders" for breakfast.HaHaHaaaaaaaaaa...
- R.Deus-von HomeyerRE:UKRAINE's DESTINY18:39, 21/02/2014As I heard on CNN,BBC,German TV and other WESTERN TV Channels,the predominately JOUNG Ukrainians want that their Government signes the ASSOSIATION Agreement with the EU.
The interwieved Ukrainians were about 25 year old and did NOT know ANYTHING aboout the way markets are functioning.
The Assosiation TRADE Agreement will benefit the GERMAN;the BRITISH,the FRENCH or Austrian economy as UKRAINA will be a NEW ,huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge market with 50 000 000 consumers ,to whom they can sell their products,MANUFACTURED in GERMANY,so that the GERMAN workers have jobs...NOT the Ukrainians!
The same happened with Romania and my native country,BULGARIA.
German companies build hotels on the Black Sea;German companies as BEYERSDORF;Siemens;VW,BMW are selling their products to the Bulgarians and because the Bulgarian companies are NOT competitive to the LURE of Western products(which have better packaging),many of them closed...went bankrupt.
IT WILL BE A ONE-WAY STREET for Ukraina...the goods will flow from WEST to the EAST and the Ukrainians will be forced to tae the so called"bail -outs" to pay their DEBTS to the biggest EU countries.
- xama226Yugoslavia second edition19:32, 18/02/2014This is another attempt to stage a coup in the manner of the Yugo coup.
These people are rioters and they should be dealt as such.
The government should clear the streets once and for all. The more it procrastinates the the more brazen they will get.
- R.Deus-von HomeyerRIOTS IN BERLIN or HAMBURG19:59, 19/02/2014Recently there were simmilar riots in HamburgJUST because the Senat of Hamburg designated areas in the city,where those radical rioters are NOT allowed.
The Internationalpress did not report it,because Germany is aEU member and "Bussenfreund" with the USA.Only the German TV reported it.
Every year such riots happen in Berlin on the 1th of May...the LABOR DAY in Europe.
Most of these rioters are ravers...theydo not work;they are drifting fromone town to anotherand living on Social welfare.
- xama226semantics19:43, 18/02/2014Why are you calling violent riots protests?
- Mikhail1228Thank McCain and Nuland!19:05, 19/02/2014McCain and Nuland stood in Kiev calling for the protestors to keep fighting against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. We stand behind you they said. They feel emboldened like former Georgian president Shaakashvili did when he attacked South Ossetia.
Islamic terrorism is gaining momentum, and is all about ideological opposition to European Christian values. This is an aggressive young radical ideology that attracts followers across the world. And it will only grow stronger on the world political stage.