Violent Clashes Reported at Pro-EU Rally in Kiev

World | November 25, 2013, Monday // 12:26
Violent Clashes Reported at Pro-EU Rally in Kiev: Violent Clashes Reported at Pro-EU Rally in Kiev Riot police have used batons and teargas in fresh clashes with pro-EU protesters in the Ukraine's capital Kiev. Photo EPA/BGNES

New clashes between riot police and pro-EU protesters have been reported Monday morning in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

As demonstrators tried to blockade the government headquarters, they were violently pushed back by police with batons and teargas.

Official reports list the number of protesters Monday at 1 000 to 2 000, however, photographs from Kiev's central Maydan square, show a much larger crowd.

Ukraine made the decision on the EU deal last week, saying it could not afford to break ties with Moscow. Russia is trying to bring Kiev into its own customs union.

Several rallies in Kiev have been held over the last few days, but Sunday's has been the largest so far. Rallies have been reported also in the Black sea city of Odessa and other cities.

Outraged Ukrainians say they do not want their country to become Russian province again, and pledge to not give up with the rallies until they receive assurances about the European future of their country.

Demonstrators remain on Maydan square, heavily guarded by police.

Heavyweight boxing champion, Vitali Klitschko, who leads the opposition Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform party (UDAR - Smash), has joined them insisting on relentless pressure on archenemy, President Viktor Yanukovych, to sign the association agreement with the EU.

In addition to Vitali Klitschko, opposition leaders Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleh Tyahnybok addressed the crowd. They too urged Yanukovych to sack Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and to sign the agreement.

The signing had been set for November 29 in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, where several other ex-Soviet states will forge closer ties with the EU.

In a sign that Ukraine's government may be backtracking on the EU treaty debacle, Azarov said Monday the country might sign the agreement at an EU-Ukraine summit early next year

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Tags: riot police, clashes, protest, European Union, EU, Ukraine, Kiev, Mykola Azarov, heavyweight boxing champion, Vitali Klitschko, Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform party, UDAR, President Viktor Yanukovych, Association Agreement, opposition, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Oleh Tyahnybok
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