13:20 11.12.2013

Klitschko calls night police operation in Kyiv center "senseless and brutal"

Kyiv residents are pouring toward Independence Square to join the protesters, despite police's attempts to keep them away, and the authorities' "senseless and brutal" actions in the early hours of Wednesday have only made the people more resolute, UDAR party leader Vitali Klitschko said.

"People are fearlessly defending Maidan [Independence Square], which has become a symbol of freedom for Ukrainians and their desire to live in a democratic European country," UDAR quoted Klitschko as saying on Wednesday.

"I am proud of Ukrainians: all of us here have stood through the night together. None of the people were scared and left. These senseless and brutal actions by the authorities have only made the people more resolute. Kyivans are still coming in, although traffic police are trying to block them, they have blocked all central metro stations, and Interior Forces troops are standing here and preventing people from passing onto Maidan. Despite this, Kyivans are coming in, and this is very important. I want to call everyone to Maidan," Klitschko said.

"The entire country should rise up, all Maidans and all squares, the entire country should declare a strike against the incumbent authorities," he said.

"After everything they have done, these authorities need to be replaced immediately before they have mopped up all of Ukraine," Klitschko said.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said earlier that "the territory landscaping work around Independence Square was being done at night so as not to cause more inconveniences to people who live or work in the city."

"The Interior Ministry declares officially that police and Interior Forces troops did not use tear gas or other special means against the demonstrators during the events at Independence Square," it said.

"City utility workers were engaged in landscaping the territory surrounding Maidan at nighttime so as to avoid extra obstructions and inconveniences for traffic and people, as the working week is continuing," it said.

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