KIEV, October 18. /TASS/. Clashes between police and protesters, who gathered outside the Ukrainian parliament building in the capital Kiev on Tuesday, ended after lawmakers interfered and calmed down the crowd.
The 112.Ukraina television channel said the clashes erupted on Tuesday evening, when police tried to force the protesters out from the square in front of the Verkhovna Rada building. The protesters brought down the fence separating them from police cordons and started to tear off officers’ helmets.
Ukraine’s chief prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, said the law-enforcers were not planning to disperse the rally or tear down the tent camp set up by protesters near the parliament.
"The special services were tipped off and later established facts of [illegal] possession and purchase of weapons by members of illegal formations who are now among the protesters," the official said on his Facebook page.
"This is why the Interior Ministry had to toughen security. Their task is to keep the participants of the rally, the city and the country safe. There will be no removal of tents," he said, adding that metal detectors will be installed at the area and any outbreak of violence against civilians, lawmakers and officers "will be dealt with harshly."
Earlier in the day, more than 5,000 protesters from across the political spectrum gathered for a rally in front of the parliament’s building demanding, among other things, to establish an anti-corruption tribunal and to strip lawmakers of their immunity. One of the protest leaders, Georgian ex-president and a former governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, Mikhail Saakashvili, demanded the resignation of President Pyotr Poroshenko.
The protest turned violent as protesters clashed with police on Tuesday afternoon. As a result, one officer and three protesters were injured.
The protesters put up more than 60 tents in the area to stay overnight. It has been decided to resume the rally on Thursday.