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Violent Protests Greet Ukraine's Protest Ban

Clashes break out in Kiev
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 19, 2014 9:17 AM CST
Violent Protests Greet Ukraine's Protest Ban
Pro-European Union activists stand in front of a barricade of their tent camp to protect it in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.    (Sergei Chuzavkov)

(Newser) – Thousands of protesters are clashing with riot police in the center of the Ukrainian capital, after the passage of harsh legislation banning protests. A group of radical activists began attacking riot police with sticks, trying to push their way toward the Ukrainian parliament building, which has been cordoned off by rows of police and buses. Stun grenades were used and smoke was seen above the crowd. "We cannot wait any longer. We have no choice: either we win or we will slide into dictatorship," one protester tells al-Jazeera, which puts the number of protesters in the tens of thousands.

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Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko tried to stop the protesters from attacking police. The clashes occurred today shortly after tens of thousands rallied on Kiev's main square, as part of anti-government protests that have rocked Ukraine for two months. Just last month, a journalist was beaten after dissing a Ukrainian minister. (Read more Ukraine stories.)

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