KIEV, (Xinhua): Ukrainian riot police began moving into Kiev’s Independence Square early Wednesday, where protesters were demonstrating for European integration.
Hundreds of police officers confronted protesters who had been there over a week as they tried to dismantle the barricades and tents that the protesters set up on the square, known as the Maidan in Kiev.
The police reportedly herded the protesters who had remained on the square, while protesters urged each other not to use violence. There were no scuffles between the police and the protesters reported so far.
Protests in Ukraine popped up some 20 days ago, starting with peaceful demonstrations demanding the country’s European integration, but soon snowballing into a violent nationwide movement against authorities.
Ukraine failed to sign partnership agreements with the EU at the Eastern Partnership Summit in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius last month, which triggered waves of protests in major Ukrainian cities.
Furious about both the government’s decision and the violent dispersal of earlier demonstrations, the protesters demanded the impeachment of President Viktor Yanukovych, resignation of the government and disbandment of parliament.
Yanukovych met with western envoys and local public figures Tuesday in a bid to solve the country’s political crisis.