Demonstrations and heavy-handed police methods continue in Kyiv
Throughout Tuesday former Chornobyl clean-up workers and Afghanistan War veterans picketed the Cabinet of Ministers protesting over cuts to pensions and social benefits. In the early afternoon, the BBC Ukrainian Service reported the police as saying there were around two thousand demonstrators There were a number of scuffles and, as reported earlier, the Berkut riot police tried to detain at least one protester, Vladimir Proskurin from Kharkiv. Later in the evening, Kharkiv demonstrators reported that they were under surveillance
Interfax Ukraine reported that the members of the demonstration issued a statement which warned the government not to make them die outside the Verkhovna Rada and Cabinet of Ministers. “Do not drive us to extremes, forcing our socio-economic demands to turn into political ones”.
There was confrontation when Berkut riot police seized tents which Afghanistan War veterans from the organization Nobody But Us were trying to erect in the Mariyinsky Part opposite the Cabinet of Ministers.
The police report that all was peaceful, with no excess force used. Video footage and reports from Kharkiv demonstrators suggest that this was anything but the case, with some sources reporting that tear gas was used.
From human rights activists’ reports, the BBC Ukrainian Service, Ukrainska Pravda and Interfax Ukraine