Ten Injured, 100 Held As Police Break Up Protest Camp in Ukraine

Ten Injured, 100 Held As Police Break Up Protest Camp in Ukraine

Saturday, 3 March, 2018 - 13:00
Servicemen of the National Guard remove a protesters tent camp near the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine March 3, 2018. REUTERS/ Gleb Garanich
Asharq Al Awsat
At least 10 people were injured and 100 detained in clashes between Ukrainian police and anti-government protesters outside the parliament building in Kiev on Saturday, when officers began removing a protest camp near parliament. Police say that explosives were found at the camp.

The Interfax news agency quoted a top police official, Andrey Kryshchenko, as saying that the clash occurred when police arrived for an investigation related to a conflict Tuesday in which 15 police were hurt.

Police said nine hand grenades were discovered during a search of the camp, as well as firebombs. Many of the tents were dismantled and taken away by city workers, Interfax said.

The tent camp was set up in October by supporters of Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president who became a prominent opposition figure in Ukraine. Saakashvili was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship and deported to Poland last month.

The majority of Saakashvili’s supporters left the camp after his departure, but some activists remained.

Police said about 100 activists had been detained due to violence, while six protesters and four police officers were hurt in the clashes.

“We have two court decisions to inspect and search this area ... Then communal workers will clean it up,” Andriy Kryshchneko, head of Kiev police, told reporters at the scene.

Grenades, fire and smoke bombs were found in the camp during the raid, police said.

“Police in riot gear approached from two sides and detained almost all the people (in the camp). Trucks started dragging apart and demolishing the barricades,” lawmaker and Saakasvili ally Yehor Sobolev said.

The camp is an offshoot of a broader opposition movement that holds regular peaceful protests in Kiev demanding the resignation of President Petro Poroshenko over a stalled reform drive.

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