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Ukrainian police take nationalists into custody for blocking Kiev court

October 24, 11:41 UTC+3 KIEV

Police have detained 30 nationalists who earlier disrupted the work of Kiev’s district court

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© Arkhip Vereschagin/TASS

KIEV, October 24. /TASS/. The Ukrainian police have cleared the courtroom in Kiev’s Svyatoshinsky district court of nationalists and are holding them in custody, the 112 Ukraine TV channel reported on Tuesday.

Police have detained 30 nationalists who earlier disrupted the work of Kiev’s district court, head of the police department in the Ukrainian capital, Andrey Krischenko, said on Tuesday.

"Police units have been deployed. They have detained 30 persons, they are being taken to the Shevchenkovskoye department, where their actions will be assessed," Krischenko told the 112 Ukraine TV channel.

The situation in the Svyatoshinsky district court is calm now. Police have launched criminal cases into damaging property and hooliganism.

The UNIAN news agency reported that the special forces have detained its correspondent Sergey Lefter.

On Monday, the court reviewed the case for imposing a pre-trial restraint on the former commander of a battalion within the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN, outlawed in Russia) Nikolay Kokhanovsky. He was detained on Saturday in the downtown district of the Ukrainian capital for firing a rubber-bullet handgun during a domestic conflict. After the judge announced a recess until 9am on Tuesday, in the evening extremists decided to block the courtroom demanding a review of the case. In addition, they demanded that the case should be overturned and the former commander released. However, the judge did not return to the courtroom. The police attempted to disperse those blocking the court by throwing tear gas grenades but to no avail.

The nationalists proceeded to riot in the courtroom, damaging furniture, breaking windows, and culminating as they finally decided to barricade the entrances and stay there overnight.

The meeting scheduled for this morning has not begun yet. Police are pressing criminal charges based on counts of damage to property.

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