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Ukraine: Anti-protest forces mob Kiev

Pro-European Union activists stand in front of a barricade in downtown Kiev. Picture: AP

Pro-European Union activists stand in front of a barricade in downtown Kiev. Picture: AP

THOUSANDS of people angered by months of anti-government protests in the Ukrainian capital converged on one of the protesters’ barricades yesterday, but retreated after meeting sizeable resistance.

Although the confrontation ended without violence, it underlined the tensions that persist as the protests slog through a third month. Anti-government protesters have set up a tent camp on Kiev’s main square and occupy three nearby buildings, including the city hall. They have also built extensive barricades of earth, bags of ice and refuse on the fringes of the area.

About 2,000 people streamed toward the barricade at midday, but pulled back after two hours the protest’s “self-defence” volunteers following, banging their shields with rods.

The protests began in November after President Viktor Yanukovych backed away from an agreement to deepen ties with the EU and pursue closer relations with Russia.

 

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