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Kiev’s European Square sees new wave of clashes on the night to Sunday

January 26, 2014, 6:43 UTC+3 KIEV
Active police-opposition clashes have taken place on Grushevsky Street this week, while the situation on Independence Square has remained calm for several weeks
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© AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic

KIEV, January 26, 6:01 /ITAR-TASS/. Kiev’s European Square has become a scene of fierce clashes between police and protesters this night.

Active police-opposition clashes have taken place on Grushevsky Street this week, while the situation on Independence Square has remained calm for several weeks.

The European Square had also looked calm and peaceful until the protesters made a sudden attempt to seize the Ukrainian house located on the square. It is still unclear who ordered the action. None of the opposition leaders were noticed at the scene. Some of the attackers told TV reporters that they had allegedly been provoked by the authorities who had quartered hundreds of riot policemen from the Berkut special unit and internal troops in the Ukrainian house. The protesters on European Square said they feared that the policemen staying in the building could strike their fellow-protesters on Grushevsky Street from the rear.

The first attempt to storm the building did not crown with success. The assaulters broke the doors and windows but failed to get inside. After that, they calmed down and organized a corridor leading to the Ukrainian house. They offered the riot policemen to leave the building but got no reply. The police did not use force against the demonstrators.

The protesters have stopped all active actions by now.

In the meantime, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry has urged Ukrainians to stay away from unlawful actions aimed at seizing government institutions.

“Such actions usually involve people from Western parts of Ukraine. They are transported from regional centers in united groups and moved to other cities and regions immediately after an unlawful act has been committed,” the Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s press service said on Saturday. On January 24, about 200 aggressive protesters tried to seize a regional administration building in Cherkassy, a city in central Ukraine.

“Unfortunately, about 2,000 city residents supported their illegal actions,” the Ukrainian Interior Ministry went on to say, adding similar scenarios could be seen in the Poltava and Vinnitsa regions.

“Ukraine’s Interior Ministry is urging all citizens not to succumb to provocative calls, which are building tensions in society and are pushing people to crimes,” the Interior Ministry press service said in conclusion.

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