Kiev dismantles last protest barriers

10 August 2014 BBC Online


The mayor of Kiev has taken the lead in work to dismantle the final barriers and tents on the Ukrainian capital's main street, nine months after pro-EU demonstrators took to the streets.
Vitali Klitschko, an ex-boxing champion who was active in the protests during the winter, turned out with dozens of volunteers and council workers.
He told reporters that Kreschatik Street had to be re-opened to traffic.
Fighting in the east left 13 soldiers dead on Friday, the government says.
The new government is battling an insurrection by pro-Russian separatist rebels in a conflict that is believed to have cost at least 1,500 lives since April.
The UK and US governments have warned Russia not to use humanitarian assistance as a pretext for sending troops into the east.
Any such intervention would be "completely unacceptable and "viewed as an invasion of Ukraine", said the US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power.
On Thursday, protesters had clashed with security forces in Kiev in scenes reminiscent of the unrest which eventually brought down Ukraine's pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovych, in February.
Scuffles broke out from time to time with the protesters on Saturday. At one point, a man sought to defend a burning barricade with a handgun but was arrested, video journalist Rachael Newport said in a tweet.

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