Clashes leave scores injured in Kyiv as protesters defy protest ban

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Clashes between protesters and police in Ukraine have left scores injured on both sides prompting President Yanukovych to promise a special commission to solve the crisis.

The violence broke out as demonstrators denounced tough new anti-protest legislation which was rushed through parliament last week.

The new curbs on protests include:

A ban on the unauthorised installation of tents, stages or amplifiers in public places.

Provision to arrest protesters wearing masks or helmets.

A ban on protests involving more than five vehicles in convoy.

Hefty fines or jail for breaches of law.

Ukraine’s political opposition claim the new legislation paves the way for a police state while both the US and the European Union have expressed deep concern.

Sunday’s rally which had been attended by over 100,000 people was the latest in a cycle of public protests sparked by President Yanukovych’s U-turn in November away from the EU towards Russia.

Euronews’ correspondent, Sergio Cantone, who is in Kyiv said:

“With no political solution on the horizon, the crowd decided to take the initiative against the new law concerning public order and the press, which was adopted last week by parliament. People are angry and the situation in Independence Square seems to be hurtling towards a turbulent close.”

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