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    Ukraine Berkut riot police to be disbanded

    euronews (in English)

    by euronews (in English)

    Ukraine’s special riot police force known as the Berkut is to be disbanded.

    The interim government is taking steps to break up the unit which was involved in the bloody crackdown on protesters in Kyiv that left dozens dead last week.

    The 4,000-strong force, first used against demonstrators in November, has been accused of brutality and murder.

    “Berkut is gone”, says a post on the internet by Ukraine’s acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

    “I have signed order No.144… on the abolition of Berkut Special Public Security Police Units.”

    He promised to give more details at a briefing later.

    The opposition MP was named as interim Interior Minister last weekend after parliament dismissed his predecessor Vitaly Zakharchenko, an ally of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.

    For Berkut’s accusers, the footage from last week’s repression of Maidan protesters was the clearest evidence yet of long-suspected atrocities.

    Linking Yanukovych to the massacre, Ukraine’s parliament called on Tuesday