Central Kiev Cathedral Barricaded by Pro-EU Protesters

World | November 30, 2013, Saturday // 12:31
Central Kiev Cathedral Barricaded by Pro-EU Protesters: Central Kiev Cathedral Barricaded by Pro-EU Protesters Ukrainian riot police used violent force overnight to clear the central square in Kiev from pro-EU protesters, photo EPA/BGNES

Pro-EU protesters in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, beaten and dispersed by riot police overnight, have barricaded themselves in the St Michael's (Mihailovska) cathedral on Mihailovska Square.

The news was reported Saturday by the online edition of the newspaper "Segodniya" (Today). 200 people are currently in the cathedral. Popular pop singer Ruslana and five opposition MPs are among them.

The demonstrators have barricaded the doors of the temple to prevent Berkut, the special units of the Ukrainian police, from bursting in. Riot police have piled buses and trucks in the area.

According to the correspondent of "Segodniya," many of the demonstrators have injuries, bleeding heads, and have been, obviously, subjected to violence. Doctors have arrived in the cathedral to provide help and treatment to the injured.

Special police forces proceeded Friday evening to forcefully push out of the central square thousands of pro-EU protesters.

This was the seventh night in a row when thousands of citizens and university students staged rallies in the Ukrainian capital against President Viktor Yanukovych's refusal to sign the association agreement with the EU.

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

The signing of the association agreement was set for November 29 in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.

On Friday - as Yanukovych attended the EU summit - about 10 000 demonstrators took to Independence Square, carrying Ukrainian and EU flags and chanting "Ukraine is Europe".

There was also a smaller rally of Yanukovich supporters a few hundred meters away.

In Vilnius, EU leaders warned they would not tolerate Russian interference in the bloc's relations with former Soviet republics.

The summit reached provisional accords with Georgia and Moldova.

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Tags: St Michael, cathedral, Mihailovska, university students, Association Agreement, president, Viktor Yanukovych, Kiev, Ukraine, EU, European Union, protest, clashes, riot police, Berkut
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