December 1, 2013 / 3:09 PM / 6 years ago

Ukraine opposition distances itself from violence near Yanukovich HQ

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine’s opposition leaders said that violence near President Viktor Yanukovich’s presidential headquarters on Sunday was nothing to do with them and had been stage-managed by the authorities with a view to justifying a police crackdown.

“We know that the president wants to ... declare a state of emergency in the country,” former economy minister Arseny Yatsenyuk told journalists, reacting to clashes near the presidential administration building involving protesters who appeared to be trying to break through police lines using a building excavator.

The apparent attempt to break through police lines occurred during a massive opposition-led rally involving about 350,000 people protesting against Yanukovich’s policy U-turn on Europe.

Writing By Richard Balmforth; Editing by Thomas Grove

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