Riot police use tear gas against Kyiv Council protesters


Photo: Dmytro Larin (Ukrainska Pravda)

After initial denial, the Kyiv Police have acknowledged that they used tear gas against demonstrators protesting against the latest meeting of the Kyiv City Council whose official term in office ended at the beginning of June.  The police also assert that four officers were injured, and threaten that the culprits will be punished.

The latest meeting of a body seen by a large number of people as illegitimate was scheduled for 2 October.  Tetyana Nikolayenko reports for Ukrainska Pravda that as with the last meeting, there were around a thousand internal forces officers out there, creating an impenetrable cordon around the Kyiv Council building.  Those prevented from entering including opposition MPs.

There were attempts to climb over the fence and to break through the cordon.  Nikolayenko writes that it was simply unrealistic to try to break through 15 rows of armed officers, especially after the latter began using tear gas.  This was initially denied, but Ukrainska Pravda pointed out that they had photographs and were doubtless not alone in this.

Some protesters do appear to have tried to pull officers’ helmets off and drag them from the cordon. As mentioned, the police claim that four officers sustained injuries.

This was the second meeting of a City Council whose deputy corps is many months beyond its sell-by-date.  Their term in office, it should be stressed is stipulated by the Constitution. 

The ruling Party of the Regions has, however, blocked attempts to have elections for City Council and Mayor scheduled (See The Real Barricades)  

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