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Ukraine opposition calls for interior minister’s resignation

January 13, 2014, 16:40 updated at: January 13, 2014, 16:51 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, January 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian opposition leader Vitali Klitschko called on Monday for the resignation of Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko over alleged use of force by policemen against peaceful protesters.

In the most recent wave of unrest engulfing the capital, Kiev, since late last year, nearly 20 people, including former Interior Minister and opposition leader Yury Lutsenko, were injured on Saturday in a clash with police. Activists attempted to stop three young men being taken to jail, sentenced to six years for allegedly plotting to blow up a monument to Lenin in 2011.

“We also propose to set up a temporary commission to investigate all cases of illegal use of force,” Klitschko, leader of the UDAR political party, said.

Klitschko added that in the event the demand for Zakharchenko's departure was not satisfied, his party would block the work of parliament, resuming on Tuesday after the winter recess.

Oleg Tyagnibok, leader of the opposition party Svoboda, backed Klitschko’s demand, adding that “the authorities must react, otherwise the current situation in the country will escalate.”

A chain of ceaseless demonstrations has hit Ukraine since last November, when President Viktor Yanukovych decided against a European Union integration deal in favour of agreements with Russia.

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