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Ukraine probes this week’s nationalist riots in downtown Kiev

October 17, 2014, 9:49 UTC+3 KIEV
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office has launched an investigation into mass riots of radical nationalists that took place in Kiev on October 14
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© EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY

KIEV, October 17. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office has launched an investigation into mass riots on October 14 near the parliament building in downtown Kiev, organized by far-right nationalists, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on Friday.

Some 8,000 people took part in a nationalist rally resulting in clashes with the police in Ukrainian capital. The Interior Ministry later said 15 policemen were injured and 50 rioters were detained.

The riots started after the parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, refused to put on its agenda a bill recognizing the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UIA) as a party fighting for Ukraine’s independence during WWII.

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Clashes in front of the Verkhovna Rada/Ukrainian parliament/ building in central Kiev on 14 October 2014 © RUPTLY/TASS TV
After that, a group of masked young men with flags of the radical nationalist party Svoboda /Freedom/ threw smoke and sound bombs, explosive devices at police on duty at the building.

“This case is being investigated by the Prosecutor General’s Office. But I can now say who was near the parliament. These were the gunmen who are part of the Brotherhood unit and gunmen identifying themselves with a party of Mr. [Oleh] Lyashko. These guys were played foul, they were paid, motivated and they went to fight,” Avakov told the 1+1 TV channel.

Sociologists say at the early parliamentary in Ukraine on October 26, the Radical party led by Lyashko may win some 6% of the vote while the nationalist Svoboda party of Oleh Tyahnybok may get less than 5%

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