Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Mothers and children leaving Honduras at all costs

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US journalist Peter Theo Curtis freed in Syria

Read more

WEB NEWS

"Ice Bucket Challenge" angers anti-abortion activists

Read more

ENCORE!

An art wonderland: A burnt-out piano, a bed in a box and a giant magic mushroom

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Historian Jean Garrigues: 'For the first time, Hollande knows what he is doing'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

New French economy minister signals changes to 35-hour week

Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Russian troops have entered Ukraine, says Kiev

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • New Ebola case in Nigeria brings death toll to 1,552

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

Europe

Riot police break up protest in Ukraine capital

© Screen grab

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-30

Riot police in Ukraine’s capital Kiev used batons and stun grenades to disperse hundreds of pro-European Union protesters camped in the city’s main Independence Square early on Saturday, witnesses said.

Riot police in Ukraine’s capital Kiev forcefully dispersed hundreds of pro-European Union demonstrators in the city’s main Independence Square early on Saturday.

Police moved in on protesters who were still camped on the square following bigger demonstrations on Friday night against President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision not to sign a landmark trade agreement with the European Union.

Witnesses said police first fired stun grenades at the crowds and then moved in, using batons to disperse them, chasing some protesters into nearby streets.

At 5am on Saturday, part of the square was sealed off by black-helmeted riot police. A total of 35 people were detained for resisting police, the interior ministry said.

Tension had been building in Kiev since Friday, when Yanukovich walked away from signing the pact with EU leaders at a summit in Lithuania, going back on a pledge to work toward integrating his ex-Soviet republic into the European mainstream.

He said the cost of upgrading the economy to meet EU standards was too great and added that economic dialogue with Russia, Ukraine’s former Soviet master, would be revived.

On Friday night, at least four people were beaten by police, including a cameraman and a photographer for the Reuters news agency.

The Interfax news agency reported that police had decided to clear Independence Square after “a number of incidents”.

An estimated 10,000 people took part in Friday night’s demonstrations, during which heavyweight boxing-champion-turned-politician Vitaly Klitschko said Yanukovich had dashed the aspirations of Ukrainians to join mainstream Europe.

“Today they stole our dream, our dream of living in a normal country,” said Klitschko, a contender for the 2015 presidential election. “The failure to sign the agreement of association is treason.”

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-11-30

  • EUROPEAN UNION

    Ukraine’s EU ‘U-turn’ dominates East Europe talks

    Read more

  • RUSSIA - EU - UKRAINE

    Putin slams EU criticism over stalled Ukraine deal

    Read more

  • UKRAINE

    Tymoshenko backs pro-EU protests with hunger strike

    Read more

COMMENT(S)