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article imageProtesters clash with police and militia in Kiev's Maidan Square

By Ken Hanly     Aug 7, 2014 in Politics
Kiev - With all the attention being paid to the conflict in the eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian defense forces, it is not surprising that little attention is paid to violence in the seat of the Ukrainian uprising in Maidan Square.
The amount of violence in Kiev's Maidan or Independence Square has not been seen since the original uprising the overthrew Victor Yanukovych then president of the Ukraine. The conflict involved not only police but pro-government militias who were former comrades of the remaining protesters in the square.
On Thursday (August7) municipal workers backed by both police and interior ministry troops came with cranes to clear Khreshyatik Street a main street so that traffic could flow through. Protesters set fire to their barricades and piles of tires burned sending black smoke billowing over the center of the city. The protesters threw stones at the police and troops. Many of the leading activists in the original Maidan protests have positions in the new government, become involved with the fight against the eastern separatists or have gone back to their original jobs. However, a small group has remained in the square claiming that there needs to be "people's control" of the government.
However, ever since Petro Poroshenko the billionaire oligarch won the presidency on May 25 there have been attempts to clear the remaining protesters from the square. The mayor of Kiev, former boxer Vitaly Klitchko requested the police guarantee the safety of municipal workers. Klitchko claimed that there had been thousands of appeals from Kiev locals to "restore order." As the clashes took place Andriy Parubiy resigned as chair of the Ukraine National Security and Defence Council. Parubiy said during wartime he would not explain his decision and vowed to continue support for the fight against eastern separatists.
Interfax reports that up to 10 people have been detained as a result of the clashes and a criminal case is being pressed for hooliganism. Fifty law enforcement personnel from the interior ministry were wounded, three seriously according to the Kiev police chief. Many photos from the clashes can be found here.
More about Maidan square, Protests in Kiev, Vitaly Kiltschko
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