KIEV, December 11 (RIA Novosti) – Barriers made of huge chunks of ice and iron rods re-emerged in the heart of Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, on Wednesday afternoon, hours after previous barricades were dismantled in a police crackdown.
Special riot police and Interior Ministry forces clashed with opposition supporters in Kiev early Wednesday, while utilities services removed barricades that protesters put up in the streets to disrupt access to government buildings.
Police said later that they were only working to dismantle the barricades impeding traffic, not to disband the protest camp itself.
The Interior Ministry said similar action might be taken early Thursday, in accordance with last week’s court order obliging protesters to unblock access to government buildings.
“If the bailiffs request police to take action in order to enforce a court ruling, then, accordingly, police will take measures,” Ukrainian Deputy Interior Minister Viktor Ratushniak said.
Street protests have been ongoing in Ukraine since President Viktor Yanukovych made an 11th-hour decision last month not to sign a long-awaited association agreement with the EU, opting instead for closer cooperation with Russia.