Dog patrol figures up as protests erupt in Ukraine
Protesters have set up a camp in a park in central Kiev to protest against police brutality.
More than 10,000 people have signed a petition calling for the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych, whose term is set to expire in February, according to the country’s information service.
The protesters have set fire to a police van and set tires ablaze, burning tires in the middle of the street.
The demonstrators also burned tires on several public buses, as well as on government buildings.
A day after protests started, the interior ministry said police had fired tear gas at protesters in the centre of Kiev.
The interior ministry did not say what kind of tear gas was used.
“There are reports that some protesters were hurt by police and were transferred to hospital,” Interior Ministry spokesman Volodymyr Hristov told reporters.
“We have confirmed this with the doctors at the scene.”
The protesters, who call themselves the “Paw Patrol”, are members of a group that has been trying to persuade Yanukovych to quit since the protests began.
The protest movement is led by the right-wing nationalist Svoboda party, which is backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Svoboda’s leader Oleksandr Dugin, who was also in attendance, has been quoted as saying that “a lot of dogs” were used by the police.
“I do not believe that any policeman is guilty of anything.
I believe that all the police are responsible,” Dugin told Ukrainian TV channel REN TV on Sunday.
Ukrainian police say they have used tear gas to disperse protesters in Kiev.
On Friday, a police helicopter crashed in Kiev, killing all five people on board.
The pilot and his partner were not injured.
The government is in the midst of a public relations campaign in support of the police, which has called on the public to turn up for protests on February 16.