Multiple Injuries As Grenade Explodes During Violent Kiev Protest

Fact checked by The People's Voice Community

Crowds of protesters blocked the Rada parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine, on Monday, disrupting a parliamentary vote on a new constitution

Dozens are reported to have  been injured during clashes in front of the parliament in Kiev.

According to the Ukrainian National Guard “about 50” people sustained injuries.

There are currently conflicting reports about the number of casualties near the Ukrainian parliament with initial reports saying that at least five officers were killed in the clashes.

RT reports: Kiev police chief Alexander Tereshchuk has claimed that some 100 law enforcement officers have been wounded in the blast, according to 112 Ukraine TV channel. He added that the person who threw the combat grenade into a crowd of officers has been detained.

According to Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, the people who threw the combat grenades were wearing T-shirts of the Svoboda political party.

“About 30 people have been arrested. Police have detained the man who threw the combat grenade,” Avakov said on his Facebook post.

Other reports in the Ukrainian media allege that one of the servicemen has died from his injuries.

“A combat grenade has been thrown at the Ukrainian special forces. Some of the servicemen from [Ukraine] National Guard have been seriously injured. Their life is in danger,” Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Kiev’s Interior Ministry, wrote on his Facebook page.

Tweets from journalists at the scene said supporters of the radical group Right Sector were brutally attacking police officers.

The demonstrators attacked police with long sticks and threw at least one smoke bomb grenade, Russia’s RIA Novosti and TASS news agencies reported.

The Ukrainian UNIAN news agency also reported that smoke bombs were being thrown along with stones. Police are now trying to stop the demonstrators from storming the parliament building.

Both protesters and police officers are using tear gas against each other, UNIAN said. The agency added that the protesters are reportedly shouting “Shame!” and “Impeachment!” in front of the parliament building, which is currently blocked from the outside.

At least one protester has been detained, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said in a statement.

A live feed by ‘112 Ukraina’ news channel also showed several police officers were injured in the clashes.

Earlier in the day, the parliament passed amendments to the Constitution on decentralization in the first reading. The amendments proposed by President Petro Poroshenko were supported by 265 of the parliament’s 450 lawmakers.

The lawmakers did not discuss giving a special status to Donbass, a historical area in eastern Ukraine that includes the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Since April 2014 the area has been fought over by pro-Kiev and anti-government forces.

Niamh Harris
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