19 february

New violence erupts in Kiev, at least four reported dead

Violent clashes between protesters and police have erupted in Ukraine's capital, Kiev, with at least four people, including a policeman, killed. A deadline set by the security forces for the violence to end has passed with no immediate sign of police action, IPN reports, quoting the foreign media.

The clashes came as MPs were due to debate changes to the constitution. The proposals would curb the powers of President Viktor Yanukovych, but the opposition say they were blocked from submitting their draft, meaning the debate could not go ahead.

In late January, protest leaders called for the clashes with police to stop as they attempted to negotiate a solution to the crisis. Their demands included the formation of a new government led by one of the leaders of the opposition, as well as sweeping reforms that would put Ukraine back on a path toward integration with the E.U.

The President’s decision to scrap an E.U. association deal in favor of closer ties with Moscow sparked the uprising against him in November. But on Tuesday, after negotiations failed to meet the demands of the uprising, the violence resumed. Thousands of protesters tried to march on the parliament building to put pressure on the government to address constitutional reform. But the march was blocked by lines of police vehicles.

Some protesters ripped up cobblestones to throw at police. Others threw smoke bombs. Police fired stun and smoke grenades, and rubber bullets. The metro in Kiev didn’t work during the day, the Ukrainian press reported.

A new round of negotiations was set for Wednesday, 11.00.