Ashton Witnesses Kiev Clashes, Impressed by Ukrainians' Firmness

World | December 11, 2013, Wednesday // 12:16
Bulgaria: Ashton Witnesses Kiev Clashes, Impressed by Ukrainians' Firmness A Ukrainian riot policeman is seen near a burning bus in front of Kiev`s city hall in Kiev, Ukraine, 11 December 2013. Photo by EPA/BGNES

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who witnessed a night of scuffles in Kiev as police tried to dislodge protesters, said she has been impressed by the protesters' determination.

"I was among you on Maidan [Independence Square] in the evening and was impressed by determination of Ukrainians demonstrating for European perspective of the country," she said in a statement posted on Facebook.

"Some hours later I observe with sadness that police uses force to remove peaceful people from the centre of Kiev. The authorities didn't need to act under the coverage of night to engage with the society by using police."

Meanwhile US Secretary of State John Kerry also condemned the action late on Tuesday.

"The United States expresses its disgust with the decision of Ukrainian authorities to meet the peaceful protest in Kiev's Maidan Square with riot police, bulldozers, and batons, rather than with respect for democratic rights and human dignity," he said.

"This response is neither acceptable nor does it befit a democracy."

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Tags: Independence square, riot police, Victoria Nuland, Catherine Ashton, Viktor Yanukovich, Kiev, Ukraine, EU, foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, US, Secretary of State, John Kerry

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