UK & World News

  • 21 January 2014, 7:24

Kiev Violence: Protesters Hurl Flaming Missiles

Violent protests are continuing in Ukraine's capital with demonstrators setting fire to vehicles and throwing flaming missiles at police.

One protester accidentally set himself alight while throwing a projectile and had to be treated by medical staff.

Opposition leader Yuriy Lutsenko said the violence has been caused by President Viktor Yanukovych's failure to respond to peaceful rallies.

"It is obvious Yanukovych simply does not want to hear his people the nice way, so these people in their desperation had to get through to him," he said.

The latest bout of violence follows two days of vicious street battles between protesters and riot police.

The violence has erupted following two months of largely peaceful protests at President Yanukovych's decision to shelve a long-discussed economic and political treaty with the European Union in November.

Instead, Mr Yanukovych chose to focus on improving ties with Russia and received bailout loan from the Kremlin to aid the troubled Ukrainian economy.

The most recent unrest was triggered on Sunday as a large demonstration against harsh anti-protest laws, signed off by the country's president last week, turned violent.

Hundreds of protesters broke off from the main peaceful rally on Independence Square and marched toward the parliament building.

More than 60 police were injured with 40 being taken to hospital, according to the authorities.

About 100 civilians were also hurt.

In a televised address on Monday, Mr Yanukovych said: "I'm addressing residents of the city of Kiev, as well as other participants of mass rallies.

"I'm asking you not to follow those who are calling for violence, who wants to provoke a rift between the state and the society and wants to throw the Ukrainian people into the fire of mass unrest.

"I'm convinced that you will hear me and will support me in my attempts to stop confrontation that was provoked by those who want to fight for power using human blood."

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