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Home News Ukrainians mass in Kiev, build up protest barricades: AFP

Ukrainians mass in Kiev, build up protest barricades: AFP

Published on 22/01/2014

Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters massed on the streets of Kiev late Wednesday after a day of deadly clashes with the authorities, hastily reinforcing the barricades protecting their protests camp.

In the space of a few hours, the protesters had increased by several metres the height of their barricades protecting the main protest camp on Independence Square with sandbags filled with snow.

Activists were busily at work on Kiev’s main thoroughfare Khreshchatyk Avenue scooping up snow, putting it into the bags and hauling them to the barricades, an AFP correspondent said.

Access to the protest camp was also more restricted with narrower entrances guarded by activists, prompting long queues at some points.

Ukrainian opposition leaders had earlier called on supporters to descend on Independence Square en masse to stave off the threat of the protest camp being dispersed by the security forces overnight.

Meanwhile, clashes with security forces continued at the epicentre of the violence on Grushevsky Street in Kiev, with protesters hurling Molotov cocktails and police responding with stun grenades.

Protesters were burning tyres in a blazing barricade to protect them from the security forces. Activists could be seen continually bringing new tyres keep the fire alive which sent black smoke billowing into the Kiev sky.