Clashes have continued today, even as signs emerge that the government may back down on controversial anti-protest laws and open a dialogue.
“The actions of a small minority are distracting attention from the legitimate concerns of hundreds of thousands of peaceful protestors. President Viktor Yanukovych needs to drop the draconian anti-protest laws which triggered the latest protests and negotiate with the opposition to prevent violence spreading and find a political solution to the impasse,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.
Opposition figure Vitali Klitschko, who has called demonstrators to refrain from violence, was sprayed with a fire extinguisher while trying to intervene to stop fighting during the protest. Klitschko has called on Yanukovych to join negotiations personally, instead of security chief Andriy Klyuyev, whom the President initially nominated to represent the government in talks.