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Protesters and riot police turn central Kiev into a battleground

21 January 2014 / All photos: ANP /

Up to 100,000 Ukrainians massed in the capital Kiev on Sunday in defiance of sweeping new laws aimed at stamping out anti-government protests. Hundreds of protesters carrying clubs and wearing gas masks faced riot police on 20 January in front of government headquarters in Kiev, a day after more than 200 people were injured in violent clashes in almost two-month of anti-government rallies. Protesters demanded Ukraine to align its politics with the European Union (EU) and Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych to resign and call early elections. Yanukovych refused in November 2013 to sign a partnership agreement with the EU and sought closer ties with Russia instead

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A man prepares to use his slingshot as protesters clash with police during an opposition rally on January 19, 2014 in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev in a show of defiance against strict new curbs on protests.

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Protesters try to turn over a police bus as they clash with riot police during a protest in downtown Kiev

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Ukrainian opposition leader Vitali Klitschko clears himself after he was poured with a dry chemical fire extinguisher by radical protesters while trying to stop the clashes between protestors and riot police during a protest in Kiev

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A bus bursts into flames as protesters clash with police on January 19, 2014 during an opposition rally in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev

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Medical workers carry an injured man as protesters clash with riot police during their protest in Kiev.

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Clouds of smoke arise as protesters clash with riot police on January 19, 2014 during an opposition rally in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev

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Protesters clash with riot police during a protest in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, 19 January 2014.

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Protesters throw stones during the clash with police in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev

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A protester throws a Molotov coctail during clash with the police in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev

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Caption A protester throws a stone during the clash with the police in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev

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Protesters hold Molotov cocktails during clashes with the police in the centre of Kiev on January 20, 2014

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A protester displays rubber bullets and pillets used by police during clashe with opposition demonstrators in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev

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Protesters throw stones and Molotov cocktails during clashes with police

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A protester uses a catapult during clashes with the police

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A bare chested man waves a Ukrainian flag during clashes between the opposition and police in the centre of Kiev on January 20, 2014

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A protester throws a Molotov cocktail during an anti-government protest in downtown Kiev

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Riot police officers take up position during an anti-government protest in downtown Kiev

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Ukrainian activists use a catapult during clashes between police and protesters in central Kiev on January 20, 2014

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Protesters fire fireworks above a police line as they face with riot police during an anti-government protest in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, 21 January 2014

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Protesters face with riot police during an anti-government protest in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, 21 January 2014

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Grenade explodes during clashes between police and protesters in central Kiev on January 20, 2014

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Elderly women, pro-European supporters, speak to armour-clad security forces blocking access to the Verkhovna Rada parliament in Kiev on January 21, 2014

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A priest prays at armour-clad security forces blocking access to the Verkhovna Rada parliament in Kiev

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A protester wearing a military helmet speaks to armour-clad security forces blocking access to the Verkhovna Rada parliament in Kiev on January 21, 2014

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Protesters reinforce their barricade in Kiev on January 21, 2014


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An activist hands out sandwiches to protesters who were rebuilding barricades after violent clashes in central Kiev