he Kyiv mayor’s office has been leading an operation to dismantle the protest camp at Independence Square, or Maidan, in the centre of the Ukrainian capital.
The Maidan was the centre of mass protests that began in November 2013 and eventually led to the ouster of Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovich in February.
A few hundred demonstrators still occupy a camp on the square.
Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko told reporters: “Step by step, we, with the help of talks, by negotiating, are convincing them [the demonstrators] to resolve this key issue, so Kyiv can get back to a normal way of life.”
There were clashes as some of the demonstrators refused to abandon the square.
They say they want the new Ukrainian authorities to remember how they got into power and be accountable to the people.
“Nothing the government was supposed to do has been done,” said Vladimir, an activist from Odessa. “There’s no law to hold people responsible for all those who died here.”
More than 120 people died in clashes between demonstrators and police during the height of the protests in early 2014.
The Maidan protests were initially sparked by Yanukovych’s u-turn on a long-planned association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union.