Deadly clashes kill 22 in Ukraine

[PeterPaul.ca] — Deadly clashes erupted Tuesday near Ukraine’s Parliament Building and at least 22 people were reported killed after government forces battled with protesters armed with Molotov cocktails and bricks, the U.N. confirmed Wednesday.

Among the dead are journalists, police officers and protesters, Ukraine’s health ministry said in an online statement adding that of the 426 people reported injured, only 277 were hospitalized.

The clashes—the deadliest since mass civil unrest began in November—erupted as police tried to clear protesters camped out in Kyiv’s Independence Square after a key debate earlier Tuesday involving a return to the 2004 constitution.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs laid blame Wednesday on opposition leaders for the latest violence but reiterated their commitment to a peaceful solution and not resorting to violence.

Human Rights Watch [HRW] researcher Yulia Gorbunova wrote in a dispatch Wednesday that President Victor Yanukovych, in his first speech since the deaths, “blamed opposition leaders for the escalation and said that they will pay the price if they don’t separate themselves from radicals,” she wrote.

HRW in January reported on alleged beatings and kidnappings by Ukraine’s riot police. “Police in Kiev face serious challenges, but nothing can justify the vicious beatings we’ve documented,” Gorbunova said at the time.

Sporadic fires could be seen burning in Independence Square late Wednesday during a live stream made available by Reuters news agency.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s