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Ukraine’s National Guard troops, nationalists clash in downtown Kiev

February 25, 2015, 14:51 UTC+3 KIEV
Several protests and a march staged by nationalist groups and football ultras opposing government policies are scheduled in the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday
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National Guard servicemen in Kiev (archive)

National Guard servicemen in Kiev (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin

KIEV, February 25. /TASS/. Clashes between the National Guard troops and participants of a nationalist rally have erupted near Arsenalnaya metro station in Kiev, a TASS correspondent reports from the scene on Wednesday.

The National Guard has encircled the organizers of the protest and launched a search for banned items. Police seized a Molotov cocktail from one of the participants. The nationalists later started a scuffle with the law enforcers to halt the security checks.

Several protests and a march staged by nationalist groups and football ultras opposing government policies are scheduled in the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday.

The march, which is about to start near Arsenalnaya metro station, is expected to draw thousands of people.

Police personnel and National Guard troops have been deployed in downtown Kiev.

The number of protesters outside the National Bank building has doubled, reaching 400. Several dozen demonstrators stayed there throughout the night, a TASS correspondent has reported.

The protesters demand the resignation of Ukraine’s National Bank Governor Valeriya Gontareva and her deputy Alexander Pisarchuk. Ukraine’s prosecutors have opened a criminal case against Gontareva, accused of foreign currency interventions in August 2014.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk earlier on Wednesday criticized the policies of the National Bank and its leadership. Media reports said President Pyotr Poroshenko also had an "intense conversation with Gontareva."

On Tuesday, demonstrators near the National Bank building said the protest would be indefinite. Similar events, staged by a movement for public control of banks, were held outside the building on February 19 and February 23.

Last Wednesday, deceived depositors held a protest outside the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, blocking traffic on Institutskaya Street in downtown Kiev.

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