Demonstrations in Kiev, Ukraine erupted into violent clashes between protesters and police on Sunday.
Protesters clashed with riot police in the Ukrainian capital on Sunday after tough anti-protest legislation, which the political opposition says paves the way for a police state, was rushed through parliament last week.
A group of young masked demonstrators attacked a cordon of police with sticks and tried to overturn a bus blocking their way to the parliament building after opposition politicians called on people to disregard the new legislation.
Despite appeals from opposition leaders not to resort to violence, and a personal intervention from boxer-turned-politician Vitaly Klitschko, protesters continued to throw smoke bombs and hurl fireworks and other objects at police.
The police appeared to show restraint during that fracas. The interior ministry said 30 police were hurt, including more than 10 admitted to hospital and four in serious condition.
Police reportedly later tried to disperse the protesters using water cannon and tear gas, according to AFP.
Protests have continued in Ukraine over the last two months, though have not always stayed in the news headlines.
As mentioned above, sparking the most recent tensions are a series of new laws that were recently passed there and place restrictions on certain protest activity.
From BBC News:
The new curbs on protests, which have been signed into law by the president, include:
- A ban on the unauthorised installation of tents, stages or amplifiers in public places
- Provision to arrest protesters wearing masks or helmets
- A ban on protests involving more than five vehicles in convoy
- Hefty fines or jail for breaches of law
Earlier this week, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) were among US lawmakers who issued a statement expressing concern over the passage of the laws.
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(Featured image credit: Reuters video via Yahoo News)
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