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Clashes erupt as Ukrainian miners protest in Kiev

January 29, 2015, 17:05 UTC+3 KIEV
The Ukrainian minister earlier addressed the crowd, promising to pay the wage arrears
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© Maxim Nikitin/TASS

KIEV, January 29. /TASS/. Scuffles have erupted between the security guards of Ukraine’s energy ministry building and the miners who have staged a protest action in Kiev demanding state support for the industry.

Some protesters have been calling for storming the ministry’s building.

The miners earlier on Thursday rejected Energy Minister Vladimir Demchyshyn’s proposals and headed towards the Ukrainian president’s administration building.

The Ukrainian minister earlier addressed the crowd, promising to pay the wage arrears. Protesters claimed they have not been paid salaries since November.

"You will get 50% next week and another 50% within two weeks," he told the protesters, who shouted "Shame!"

The protesters carry posters reading "21th century Holodomor" and "No to Breach of Law!"

The miners are determined to act decisively, while organizers have warned them against disorder.

Police and interior troops have enhanced security near the ministry’s building.

A TASS correspondent reported from the scene that the representatives of the coal miners’ trade unions and a special group of the energy ministry have signed guarantees on fulfilling the protesters’ demands by February 2.

"If until 12:00 February 2 our demands have not been met, a real protest will begin," the miners’ representatives said.

Representatives of the coal miners’ trade unions have been protesting for a second day demanding that the Ukrainian budget should envisage the spending on the stable work and development of the coal industry, labor protection and wages for miners.

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