News / Europe

Moves to Dismantle 'Euromaidan' Protest Tents in Kyiv Spark Clashes

Protesters hold a petrol bomb during clashes with pro-government forces at Independence Square in Kyiv. Tensions flared on Thursday on Kyiv's Independence Square when protesters still camped there clashed with city workers who tried to clear away their tents.
Protesters hold a petrol bomb during clashes with pro-government forces at Independence Square in Kyiv. Tensions flared on Thursday on Kyiv's Independence Square when protesters still camped there clashed with city workers who tried to clear away their tents.
Reuters

Tensions flared on Thursday on Kyiv's Independence Square, the scene of street protests that toppled a Moscow-backed president in February, when protesters still camped there clashed with city workers who tried to clear away their tents.

The protesters set fire to heaps of tyres, sending clouds of black smoke billowing across the city centre square, known as the Maidan, recalling the demonstrations earlier this year which chased Viktor Yanukovich from power.

Armed riot police moved onto the square as protesters - some of them in combat fatigues and masks and waving clubs - threw bottles and paving bricks at municipal workers who had been dispatched to dismantle the tents and barricades.

The police and workers eventually withdrew, leaving the situation unresolved.

Many protesters, including self-defense militias, have taken down their tents and returned to their homes since the election of Petro Poroshenko as president at the end of May.

But many barricades have remained in place, along with makeshift shrines to the 100 or so protesters killed by police sniper fire, and a few hundred people are still camped out on the Maidan.

"It's the right thing to do [take down the tents]. I was here from the start of the Maidan and I believe it's right now to take down what there is here. There are practically no normal people left here," said Yury Kovalchuk, a 43-year-old businessman.

Ukraine's uprising began last November when Yanukovich walked away from a political and trade deal with the European Union and sought to swing policy back towards Russia. At its height, thousands of people from across Ukraine were camped out on the square and on an adjoining thoroughfare.

Kyiv's new authorities have made clear they would like the capital city back to normal, with traffic moving freely, ahead of an expected parliamentary election at the end of October.

"It's like seeing everything that went on in winter coming back: tires are burning, the police are here and so are people with clubs," said Vitaly Lyakh, a 37-year-old Kyiv resident.

"It's not right - especially since the most decent people have gone off to fight in the war [against separatists in the east]. Civilised countries don't behave like this," he said.

One protester wearing a Ukrainian cossack uniform, Mykola Bondar, declared his resistance to attempts to take down the encampment. A group of young masked protesters stood nearby atop a truck, banging on the roof of the vehicle with clubs. "They tried to kill us today. They set fire to us," he said.

  • Women choose Dutch tomatoes at a supermarket in downtown Moscow, Aug. 7, 2014. The Russian government has banned all imports of meat, fish, milk and milk products, fruits and vegetables from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced Aug. 7, 2014.
  • Premier Dmitry Medvedev at the Cabinet meeting announces sanctions, on behalf of the Russian government, banning all imports of meat, fish, milk and milk products, fruits and vegetables from the United States, European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway in Moscow on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014.
  • Fruit farmers marched in Warsaw to encourage Poles to eat more apples to offset the expected negative effects of a ban that Russia imposed last week on Polish fruit. In this photo, a woman is picking apples to buy at 1.99 zlotys (euro 0.47) per kilo at a supermarket in Warsaw, Poland, Aug. 6, 2014.
  • An activist smokes a cigarette after clashes with a special forces police battalion in Independence Square, Kyiv, Ukraine, Aug. 7, 2014.
  • A woman shops for sweets from an assortment of imported food stuffs at a supermarket in downtown Moscow, Aug. 7, 2014.
  • Imported meat products are displayed at a supermarket in Novosibirsk, about 2,800 kilometers east of Moscow, Russia, Aug. 7, 2014.
  • Activists clash with a special forces police battalion, in Independence Square, Kyiv, Ukraine, Aug. 7, 2014.
  • Worries about Russian troops amassing near the Ukrainian border are pushing stocks slightly lower. Trader Steven Kaplan, left, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, New York, NY, Aug. 6, 2014.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid