Thousands of demonstrators chanting ‘Revolution!’ have flocked into ‘Maidan’ square in Kiev despite a court-imposed ban on rallies. The protesters have reportedly taken several government buildings.
Follow RT’s LIVE UPDATES on protests in Kiev.
Chanting protesters displaced metal barriers that were installed by police on Independence Square, also known as Maidan (Ukrainian for “square”), as more are expected to flock into the capital from the regions. Ukrainian media said that some 700,000 people have gathered, calling for the Ukrainian government and the president to resign over rejecting EU association earlier this week.
The Kiev City State Administration has been vandalized with a sign saying “Revolution Headquarters.”
The raging crowd, which split into several columns, also stormed the Mayor’s offices, breaking windows and opening the doors from the inside, Itar-Tass reports, citing local media.The protesters set up what they described as the temporary headquarters of the united opposition. The Trade Union building near ‘Maidan’ square has also been taken by the ‘provocateurs’ bearing emblems of the opposition parties. Other reports claim that the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers building was stormed.
Teargas, stun grenades as police clash with protesters at Ukrainian Presidential HQ
Hundreds gathered at the Ukrainian Presidential Headquarters compound attempting to storm the building. Riot police arrived at the scene. As protesters tried to break through police lines, clashes broke out. Smoke surrounded the compound, amid reports of gunfire, the sounds of explosions and teargas, according to RIA Novosti. Live broadcasts showed that security forces were stoned and firebombed, responding with stun grenades.
Nearly 100 police officers have been injured in the Kiev clashes, police officials told Interfax. Twenty two protesters have requested medical help, according to officials.
On Sunday the administrative court in Kiev complied with a suit from the city mayor’s office, prohibiting rallies on two major city squares until January 7 – including Independence Square – and three streets in downtown Kiev. That means that until Orthodox Christmas any kind of demonstration will be illegal and suppressed by law enforcement.