Death of two Ukrainian protesters investigated as homicide
KIEV, January 22 (RAPSI) - Ukrainian investigators have initiated criminal proceedings under Article 115 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, pertaining to "Intentional Homicide" after the deaths of people during the riots in central Kiev, Ukraine's Interior Ministry reported Wednesday.
The Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine confirmed the deaths of two protesters. President Viktor Yanukovich ordered to investigate this matter thoroughly. As previously reported, 5 activists have died in total.
Protests initially began after President Viktor Yanukovych announced the decision to postpone the signing of the EU Association Agreement on November 21. Protest rallies broke out anew in central Kiev on January 19 after a series of laws to clamp down on protests had been adopted by Parliament earlier. The rally turned violent when radicals attacked the police.
Berkut squads attempted to disperse protesters early Wednesday, shooting and pelting them with stun grenades, but were beaten back, Euromaidan protest group reported on Twitter.
Police said their latest attempt at dispersal was prompted by reports protesters have stocked up on unspecified incendiary devices for use against the police, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
Ukrainian media reported Tuesday that authorities planned to deploy almost 10,000 troops to clear rioters from Ulitsa Grushevskogo and possibly also the more pacific proceedings at nearby Independence Square, the site of a months-long peaceful protest.
Dozens have been arrested in Ukraine since Sunday as violent protests have surged. So far, at least ten are expected to be charged.
Earler, police reported more than 100 officers sustaining injuries, while the opposition spoke about 1,000 activists being hurt in the disturbances. Three demonstrators reportedly lost an eye and one is said have had a hand amputated.