KIEV, August 7 (RIA Novosti) – Tires have been set ablaze and sounds similar to an explosion have been heard in Kiev’s central Maidan Square, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported Thursday.
“The entire square is covered in thick smoke. The [two] fires appeared on Maidan just as community service workers began taking down the barricades,” the correspondent said.
He said that there are many people on and around the square and that clashes are possible. Police are currently heading toward the central square.
Earlier in the day, police ceased some 20 boxes with petrol bombs as utility workers continued to dismantle the barricades in the center of Kiev.
Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or Independence Square, was occupied by protesters on November 21, 2013, after Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers announced halting the country’s European integration.
The so-called Maidan protests then spread across the country, resulting in violent armed clashes between radicals and police, leading to around 100 deaths. Even after Ukraine underwent a regime change in February, a number of protesters remained on the Independence Square with some of them having relocated to the nearby Mikhailovskaya Square.
Kiev authorities have repeatedly called on activists to leave Maidan and free occupied buildings but they refused to do so.