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20 January, 2014 01:38   ▪  

The New York Times: In Ukraine Protests Over New Laws, Sticks and Stones Meet Tear Gas

A large rally in Kiev that was called in part to protest a new set of laws cracking down on public protests turned violent on Sunday, 19th, The New York Times reports.

The men in balaclava masks attacked the police with sticks and threw firecrackers and cobblestones at them in Kyiv, NYT says.

The police responded with tear gas. By early evening, at least one police van was burning on a central street of the city, and witnesses said people had been injured, though it was unclear how severely.

“The violence appeared to be the worst in at least a month for the continuing protest movement in Ukraine, and it signified a deepening of the political crisis in the country, the most populous former Soviet state beside Russia,” NYT says.

The fighting broke out on a side street leading to the Verkhovna Rada, or Parliament, and near Independence Square, which has been the center of the protests.

According to NYT, the inability of the leaders to force political change under the current constitution or consolidate around a single leader in spite of clear popular support for their antigovernment agenda in the capital became a precipitating cause of the violence on Sunday.

READ ALSO: International experts on Western responsibility in Ukraine's crisis

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