The Corner

Riot Police Begin Breaking Up Ukrainian Protests

Today, police began clearing out the camps of protesters who’ve been on the streets of Kiev for three weeks’ worth of demonstrations against the Ukrainian government and President Viktor Yanukovych. When Yanukovych announced last month that he would not sign a free-trade deal with the European Union, hinting at a shift toward a stronger relationship with Russia, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians rushed into Kiev’s Independence Square to protest the decision.

On Sunday, protesters toppled a statue of Vladimir Lenin and blocked off government buildings in an effort to force Yanukovych to step down or call an election. Riot police have surrounded the protesters for days, and began breaking up the citizens gathered in front of government buildings today (the protesters supposedly have until Tuesday to disband). Though over 100 people were injured in a clash with police on Sunday, no injuries have been reported today.

As police began to break up the protest outside, officers also broke into the opposition party’s administrative offices, walking through the corridors and climbing through the windows, according to protesters in the building. A police spokesman denied that either city police or riot police have entered the opposition headquarters.

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