Over 100 laws enforcers injured in riots outside Ukraine parliament

Kiev, Aug 31 (IANS) At least 100 police officers were injured on Monday in clashes in front of the Ukrainian parliament here as radical nationalists gathered to protest against constitutional amendments that grant more autonomy to the pro-Russian eastern region of the country, police said.

“Up to 100 law enforcers have been injured during the clashes near the parliament building,” Tass quoted Kiev police chief Alexander Tereshchuk as saying.

Hundreds of supporters of Ukraine’s right-wing nationalist parties staged a demonstration in front of the country’s parliament, Verkhovna Rada, calling on the legislative body to overturn the controversial amendments.

Despite the violent protests, the Ukrainian parliament passed the amendments with 265 lawmakers voting in favour of them and 87 voting against. The constitutional reforms, proposed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and backed by Western powers, would grant more autonomy to the country’s restive east which is currently under control of pro-Russia forces.

Donetsk and Lugansk are two mainly Russian-speaking regions in eastern Ukraine where deadly clashes are under way between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations in April last year to crush pro-Russia protests there.

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