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Ukraine Defense Ministry rejects media reports on state of emergency

January 23, 2014, 15:17 UTC+3 KIEV
Military detachments remain in their permanent deployment positions, fulfilling their direct duties, the ministry reported
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© AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov

KIEV, January 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine's Defense Ministry denied media reports on Thursday that military forces were on alert to enter the country’s capital, Kiev, as the authorities planned a state of emergency.

“Media reports on the preparation of military forces for the introduction of a state of emergency are untrue,” Col. Alexander Motuzyanik, an acting head of the ministry’s press service, said.

“Military detachments remain in their permanent deployment positions, fulfilling their direct duties,” Motuzyanik added.

On Wednesday, he rejected media reports that five combat tanks were on their way to Kiev from the north Ukraine city of Chernigov, adding that “Ukrainian armed forces are not taking any part in the country’s current political developments.”

According to various reports, at least three protesters are believed to have been killed in violent clashes with police since Sunday, when hundreds of people gathered in central Kiev to protest against new legislation on violations of public order.

Video from the scene showed people wearing masks and helmets to hurl Molotov cocktails and chunks of concrete at police. The country’s Interior Ministry announced on Wednesday that up to 170 police officers had been injured since Sunday, with 84 of them still in hospital.

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