Violent clashes at Ukrainian protest

Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have defied a protest ban and taken to the streets of Kiev in opposition to the government. Marches have intensified during the past two months over the government’s ditching of a pact with the EU due to pressure from Russia, and protestors have also expressed frustration at the lack of direction from opposition leaders. Police and protestors clashed violently throughout the day and night, with several people requiring hospital treatment.
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Protesters clash with riot police on January 19, 2014 during an opposition rally in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev in a show of defiance against strict new curbs on protests. 200,000 protesters expressed frustration over the lack of a clear programme from the opposition leaders after almost two months of protests over the government's ditching of a pact with the EU under Russian pressure. Ukrainian police used tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon in a bid to disperse the hundreds of people who sought to storm police cordons near the Verkhovna Rada parliament in the capital. (AFP/Getty Images)
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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 in a show of defiance against strict new curbs on protests. 200,000 protesters expressed frustration over the lack of a clear programme from the opposition leaders after almost two months of protests over the government's ditching of a pact with the EU under Russian pressure. Ukrainian police used tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon in a bid to disperse the hundreds of people who sought to storm police cordons near the Verkhovna Rada parliament in the capital. (AFP/Getty Images)
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Protesters clash with the police in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev on January 20, 2014, after 200,000 turned up for an opposition rally in a show of defiance against strict new curbs on protests. Police used tear gas and smoke bombs in a bid to disperse hundreds of people who sought to storm police cordons near the Verkhovna Rada parliament in the capital. (AFP/Getty Images)
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Protesters protect themselves as they clash with riot police on January 19, 2014 during an opposition rally in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev in a show of defiance against strict new curbs on protests. 200,000 protesters expressed frustration over the lack of a clear programme from the opposition leaders after almost two months of protests over the government's ditching of a pact with the EU under Russian pressure. Ukrainian police used tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon in a bid to disperse the hundreds of people who sought to storm police cordons near the Verkhovna Rada parliament in the capital. (AFP/Getty Images)
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Protesters clash with riot police on January 19, 2014 during an opposition rally in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev in a show of defiance against strict new curbs on protests. 200,000 protesters expressed frustration over the lack of a clear programme from the opposition leaders after almost two months of protests over the government's ditching of a pact with the EU under Russian pressure. Ukrainian police used tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon in a bid to disperse the hundreds of people who sought to storm police cordons near the Verkhovna Rada parliament in the capital. (AFP/Getty Images)
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An injured man (C-down) lays on the ground as protesters clash with riot police on January 19, 2014 during an opposition rally in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev in a show of defiance against strict new curbs on protests. 200,000 protesters expressed frustration over the lack of a clear programme from the opposition leaders after almost two months of protests over the government's ditching of a pact with the EU under Russian pressure. Ukrainian police used tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon in a bid to disperse the hundreds of people who sought to storm police cordons near the Verkhovna Rada parliament in the capital. (AFP/Getty Images)
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Protesters clash with riot police on January 19, 2014 during an opposition rally in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev in a show of defiance against strict new curbs on protests. 200,000 protesters expressed frustration over the lack of a clear programme from the opposition leaders after almost two months of protests over the government's ditching of a pact with the EU under Russian pressure. Ukrainian police used tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon in a bid to disperse the hundreds of people who sought to storm police cordons near the Verkhovna Rada parliament in the capital. (AFP/Getty Images)
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Head of UDAR (Punch) party and one of the leaders of the opposition Vitali Klitschko (C-Left) tries to stop clashes between police and protesters on January 19, 2014 during an opposition rally in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev in a show of defiance against strict new curbs on protests. 200,000 protesters expressed frustration over the lack of a clear programme from the opposition leaders after almost two months of protests over the government's ditching of a pact with the EU under Russian pressure. Police used tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon in a bid to disperse the hundreds of people who sought to storm police cordons near the Verkhovna Rada parliament in the capital. (AFP/Getty Images)
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Protesters clash with police on January 19, 2014 during an opposition rally in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev in a show of defiance against strict new curbs on protests. 200,000 protesters expressed frustration over the lack of a clear programme from the opposition leaders after almost two months of protests over the government's ditching of a pact with the EU under Russian pressure. Police used tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon in a bid to disperse the hundreds of people who sought to storm police cordons near the Verkhovna Rada parliament in the capital. (AFP/Getty Images)