Over 40 ciminal cases initiated amid escalating clashes in Kiev
MOSCOW, February 19 (RAPSI) - Ukraine's Interior Ministry has initiated nearly 40 new criminal cases following the violence that escalated in Kiev Tuesday, and reports that 58 persons have been detained, according to a statement posted Wednesday on the ministry's website.
The cases were initiated on the basis of unrest in Kiev as well as various other of Ukraine's regions.
Unrest erupted around noon Tuesday as thousands of people marched on the parliament building, where a standoff was taking place over proposed constitutional reforms that the opposition said could provide a way out of the political crisis that is paralyzing the country.
In the Ukrainian city of Lviv, near the country’s border with Poland, mobs reportedly seized administrative buildings and set fire to a military base.
Particularly aggressive protesters have broken into buildings in the city center, burned tires, and thrown stones at police officers and cars.
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry says that the law enforcement officers are not permitted to use lethal weapons and that people might have been killed by aggressive opposition members.
"Taking into account the nature of the injuries sustained by the civilians that lost their lives… and the types of weapons that have been confiscated (from the protesters) it is fair to assume that these wounds may have been caused… by the protesters,” reads a statement on the Interior Ministry's website.
The violence that ensued lasted for hours and resulted in numerous deaths and hundreds of injuries. Kiev city law enforcement officials said that nine police officers were killed during the fighting and that almost 300 were injured, 35 of them critically.