• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Ukrainians protest at 'police state' laws

Violence erupted in Kiev after up to 100,000 Ukrainians massed in ­defiance of sweeping new laws aimed at stamping out anti-government protests.

The rally was spurred by legislation rushed through parliament last week, which the opposition says will lead to a police state.

The legislation prohibits unauthorised installation of tents or stages and the use of loud-speakers in public places. "Mass disorder", the wearing of helmets and face masks and dissemination of "libellous information about the country's leaders are also now illegal.

Yesterday's clashes erupted as demonstrators, including supporters of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, encountered police cordons as they headed for parliament.

They attempted to overturn a bus commandeered by the police, and stun grenades were fired to clear the area.

Protestors denounced last Thursday's vote in parliament by supporters of President Viktor Yanukovich.

"Ukraine is united as never before in its struggle against those in power today, in its determination not to allow a dictatorship," declared boxer-turned politician Vitaly Klitschko, the strongest potential challenger for the presidency.

Mr Yanukovich triggered the crisis last November when he ditched a trade deal with the EU in favour of closer ties with Russia.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.