Armed police expelled from Ukrainian parliament

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Although central Kyiv is quieter this Friday morning there are police reports of protesters opening fire on police lines in an attempt to break through to get to parliament, about a kilometre and a half from Independence Square.

This followed a reported storming of parliament by armed police officers, although parliament’s vice-president said they had been expelled.

“You know, we have overcome the slavery inside us. We are not slaves any longer,” said one elderly woman alongside her husband.

“We want to say that they need to stop all this. Enough of the blood, how much has been spilled already? Only yesterday more than 75 people lost their lives,” said one man.

Yesterday may prove to be the tipping point for this three-month-long confrontation. The loss of life and the sight of police with automatic weapons and sniper’s rifles shooting at mostly unarmed civilians, including at least one clearly-marked medical worker, has sent a shudder of revulsion around the world, and all this after a supposed truce had been announced.

That truce looked like straws in the wind on Thursday, as the commandeered Hotel Ukrainia filled with bodies and the wounded after security forces had burned the opposition out of their main medical centre in the Trade Union headquarters.

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