20 january

Violence in Ukraine

Several dozen protesters gathered in the center of the Ukrainian capital Kiev on January 19. More than 20 Ukrainian police officers suffered injuries in the violent protests. The Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs started a criminal case over mass disorder and those to blame face up to 15 years in jail. According to Ukrainian press reports, the police said they possess video evidence of how the protesters are urged by the opposition to go to the head office of the Supreme Rada, IPN reports.

Initially, the people who came together in downtown mounted a car protest. Afterward, being persuaded by opposition leaders, the protesters headed for the building of the Supreme Rada, but were stopped by the police there. The Ministry of Internal Affairs said the protesters started to provoke the policemen and to hit them.

The radio station Radiosvoboda broadcast live the confrontations between the protesters and the police near the Supreme Rada’s building. There were used stones and tear gas. Most of the protesters had masks on their faces.

The EU Delegation in Kiev called on the protesters to refrain from using violence.

The protests in Ukraine started last November, when the country’s administration decided to suspend the procedures for the association with the EU. At the start of this year, the Supreme Rada adopted a set of laws banning protesters from staging different events.