Saturday, 12 November 2011

Protesters scuffle with police in Kyiv

Protesters angry over cuts to benefits and subsidies have scuffled with riot police outside Ukraine's parliament building.

Over 1,500 protesters, including small business owners and veterans of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, rallied Thursday against austerity measures being implemented by the government in order to qualify for an International Monetary Fund loan.

The protesters broke through a metal fence and tried to enter the legislature, but were pushed back by riot police.

Kyiv police said one officer was injured and taken away in an ambulance. No one has yet been detained.

An IMF mission is in Kyiv to decide on whether to unfreeze the $15 billion loan program, but negotiations have stalled because the government is reluctant to implement unpopular steps such as sharply increasing utilities prices.

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