Ukraine's opposition leader urges Yanukovich to take riot police off streets

KIEV Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:05am EST

KIEV Feb 18 (Reuters) - Ukrainian opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko, responding to clashes between police and protesters near parliament, on Tuesday urged President Viktor Yanukovich to take riot police off the streets to head off further "conflict in society".

"I am appealing to the president. Take the Berkut (Ukrainian riot police) and interior forces off the streets. Do this and it will provide a way out. It will be the decision of a real man," Klitschko said speaking to journalists inside parliament.

Clashes broke out on Tuesday when protesters confronted police about 100 metres from parliament. Protesters torched three police trucks with petrol bombs but were forced back by police firing rubber bullets, and stun and smoke grenades.