Kiev protests grow more intense

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IOL pic dec11 ukraine protesters behind barricades


Pro-European integration protesters stand behind barricades as riot police approach them at Independence Square in Kiev. Picture: Alexander Demianchuk

Kiev - Ukrainian police and protesters clashed outside the city hall in Kiev on Wednesday after security forces attempted to retake the building occupied by 200 opposition activists for over a week, an AFP correspondent said.

Police used truncheons outside the building to beat protesters, who responded with sticks.

Meanwhile, demonstrators inside the building sprayed police on the street with freezing water from a fire hose, forcing them to retreat into police buses.

Amid an increasingly tense standoff, thousands of protesters came to picket the city hall where deputies from the nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) movement held negotiations with the security forces over their next course of action.

The members of the security forces remained holed up in their buses parked outside the front entrance surrounded by protesters and it was not clear if they would be able to launch a new bid to assault the building.

Meanwhile, activists proudly waved flags of the Svoboda party and Ukraine from the upper floors to show that they remained in control of the building.

Those on the ground chanted the main slogans of the protest movement, such as “Out with the gang!” - AFP

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