Ukraine Protests Turn Violent As Opposition Defies New Laws

In the wake of sweeping new anti-protest laws, some of the tens of thousands of protesters have begun attacking police.
Posted at 8:09 PM, Jan 19, 2014

Protests in Ukraine's capitol Kiev turned violent Sunday as opposition groups react to new anti-protest laws designed to criminalize, well, pretty much everything the opposition has been doing for the last two months.

The new laws banned things like setting up tents or stages in public places. The opposition has been camped out in the city's main square for months. (Via Euronews)

The laws also banned protesters from wearing helmets and masks, like the bright orange helmets used for protection in previous scraps with police. (Via Hromadske.TV)

Reporters on the scene Sunday said a small group out of the tens of thousands of people protesting have begun attacking police. This video shows protesters bashing a police bus, which was later burned. (Via YouTube / Jakub Parusinski)

"The protesters have been very aggressive here. They were throwing some fireworks and they have clashed with the police. We actually have video of them kidnapping at least one policeman." (Via Al Jazeera)

Some of the protesters have even made moves to storm parliament. So far police have acted with restraint and haven't made any drastic moves against the protesters, but The New York Times reports no one seems to have any control over the situation.

"Opposition leaders denounced the participants in the melee as provocateurs and said they did not represent the aspirations of the peaceful protesters, but the leaders were also powerless to stop the fighting."

One of those opposition leaders, former heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, tried to stop the attacks on police and was doused with a fire extinguisher for his trouble. (Via Rossiya 1)

Early reports estimate around 100 people have been injured in the clash so far, with attacks on police continuing overnight.