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Grushevskogo street in Kiev crowded with protesters cleared of opposition supporters

January 22, 2014, 16:36 UTC+3 KIEV

Servicemen of "Berkut" special task force unit dismantled the barricades and moved to European square

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© AP Photo/Sergei Grits

KIEV, January 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Law enforcers have cleared Grushevshkogo street in Kiev of supporters of the opposition who moved to Independence square and Kreshchatic without offering any more resistance.

Kiev police launched crucial operations at noon. Several hundred policemen joined their protective shields into the so called single "tortoise" shield and headed for the barricades, forcing the protesters away.

Servicemen of "Berkut" special task force unit dismantled the barricades and moved to European square, holding their protective shields up despite stones and incendiary bottles hurled at them by the protesters who were finally forced away to Kreshchatik.

Police have started using tear gas and rubber batons to detain the protesters. Casualties have been reported. While police were ousting the protesters from Grushevskogo street other supporters of the opposition ran from Independence square to meet their retreating fellow opposition members half way; some people were squeezed in the crowd.

A heavy smoke has been rising in Grushevskogo street from sites of small fires which broke out after the retreating protesters had set car tires on fire.

The protesters have gathered on Independence square now, listening to their leaders, while policemen have been re-grouping their forces on European square.

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