Protesters, police clash in Ukraine's capital

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Associated Press

Posted on January 19, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Updated Sunday, Jan 19 at 7:08 PM

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Thousands of anti-government demonstrators have been clashing with riot police in Ukraine's capital today, attacking officers with sticks, stones and flares after new laws were passed to stifle protests.

Dozens of people were injured, including more than 20 police.

Many of the protesters wore hard hats and gas masks in defiance of the new legislation, which bans those items at rallies. They also used stun grenades and fire extinguishers on officers. A police bus was set on fire, and some activists broke pavement into chunks.

Police responded by using tear gas and stun grenades of their own. Water cannons were also fired at the protesters, but the clashes continued for hours.

Round-the-clock protests in Kiev began two months ago after President Viktor Yanukovych (yah-noo-KOH'-vich) decided to freeze ties with the European Union and seek a huge bailout from Russia.

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APPHOTO XSC108: Protesters clash with riot police in central Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. Hundreds of protesters on Sunday clashed with riot police in the center of the Ukrainian capital, after the passage of harsh anti-protest legislation last week seen as part of attempts to quash anti-government demonstrations. A group of radical activists began attacking riot police with sticks, trying to push their way toward the Ukrainian parliament building, which has been cordoned off by rows of police and buses. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov) (19 Jan 2014)

<<APPHOTO XSC108 (01/19/14)££

APPHOTO XSC102: Opposition leader and former WBC heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko tries to stop the fighting between opposition protesters and riot police in central Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. Hundreds of protesters on Sunday clashed with riot police in the center of the Ukrainian capital, after the passage of harsh anti-protest legislation last week seen as part of attempts to quash anti-government demonstrations. A group of radical activists began attacking riot police with sticks, trying to push their way toward the Ukrainian parliament building, which has been cordoned off by rows of police and buses. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov) (19 Jan 2014)

<<APPHOTO XSC102 (01/19/14)££

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