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Ukrainian Interior Ministry: Over 30 policemen hurt in clashes with protesters in Kiev

January 19, 2014, 23:56 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, January 19, /ITAR-TASS/. More than 30 policemen were hurt in clashes with protesters in Kiev, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry reported.

“More than ten Interior Ministry employees were taken to hospital, including four in serious condition,” the Ministry said. The protesters drew a riot policeman into the midst of the crowd and started beating him.

The standoff between opposition supporters and law enforcers continues. Radical protesters are refusing to retreat. They are throwing smoke pellets, sticks, stones and other objects at the police. They have even tried to break the police cordons.

In the meantime, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry has initiated criminal proceedings against opposition protesters in Kiev who held a regular rally which they call “people’s assembly” at Kiev’s Independence Square, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry press service said.

In his address to the protesters, the leader of Ukraine’s Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party announced the pro-European opposition’s action plan for the near future.

Yatsenyuk announced that the Ukrainian parliament lost its legitimacy after a majority of deputies had passed bills on prosecution for slander and extremism on January 16. Other measures include stricter punishment for organization of mass riots, the blocking and seizure of buildings.

Besides, new laws also introduce punishment for negation of crimes committed by fascists and prosecution for the destruction of monuments to Soviet soldiers.

They also provide for additional measures to protect judges.

“Verkhovnaya Rada (parliament) lost its legitimacy after that vote,” Yatsenyuk said.

“That is why we should create our own People’s Rada (parliament) out of opposition representatives,” Yatsenyuk said.

Besides, the opposition intends to stage a public vote for the Ukrainian president’s resignation and work out a new constitution for Ukraine.

For his part, Oleg Tyagnibok, the leader of the Svoboda (Freedom) party, said that the opposition did not recognize and would not implement the bills which had been adopted by parliament on January 16 and which were signed by the Ukrainian president and were going to sabotage them.

The opposition also called for creating municipal militia for people’s self-defense and staging a public vote for the elections of the mayor of Kiev and members of the Moscow city council.

The Ukrainian opposition holds such meetings, which it calls a “people’s assembly” every week with an aim to draw more supporters, predominantly from Ukraine’s Western regions.

The Sunday meeting of the “people’s assembly” has been the eighth since late November.

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