Police block 3,000 protesters in Kiev

Aug. 25, 2011 at 9:09 AM
| License Photo

KIEV, Ukraine, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Police stopped about 3,000 protesters led by allies of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko as they marched in downtown Kiev, officials said.

The protesters were stopped during an Independence Day rally, UkranianJournal.com reported.

"This is what the government is for: to keep order," Hanna Herman, a top adviser to President Viktor Yanukovych, said. "There will be as many police forces as we need to make sure there is order in Kiev, to make sure there is no bloodshed."

Opposition groups conducted a rally in front of the Taras Shevchenko monument, then tried to march through Kiev toward the Yanukovych administration's offices, the Web site said.

"We will have a peaceful march toward the presidential administration to hand them a resolution of the rally," Oleksandr Turchynov, No. 2 in command in the Tymoshenko party, said before the activities. "Let them pack their bags."

The march was stopped by riot police several blocks from the monument. Protesters tried to break through police lines but failed, witnesses said.

Opposition groups had been trying to rally support for sustained protests since Tymoshenko was arrested Aug. 5 on abuse of office charges stemming from a natural gas agreement with Russia in January 2009.

Serhiy Sobolev, a member of Tymoshenko's Batkivshyna Party in Parliament, recently said there would be "very serious" protest actions in August and September that may cause a government shakeup and lead to early parliamentary elections in the fall.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Kurds plan to carve state out of Iraq after fighting stops, leaders say
U.S. airstrike kills one of first Islamic State members in Syria
Former Russian oligarch Sergei Pugachyov suing kremlin for $15 billlion
Van hauling fireworks catches fire on I-15 near California-Nevada border
July 4 terror threats an annual but necessary ritual, experts say