Ukraine police battle protesters, teargas used

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 04, 2012 4:03 AM
Ukraine police battle protesters, teargas used

KIEV (Reuters) - About 1,000 protesters clashed with equal numbers of riot police in central Kiev on Wednesday, a day after the former Soviet republic's parliament passed a contentious bill upgrading the official status of the Russian language.

Police fired teargas as they tried to push the protesters away from a building where President Viktor Yanukovich had planned to hold a news briefing.

Yanukovich called off the briefing, where he was expected to speak about Ukraine's hosting of the Euro 2012 soccer championship, at the last minute, according to Interfax news agency.

Instead, he called an urgent meeting with parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, who tendered his resignation on Wednesday morning, and leaders of major factions.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov and Richard Balmforth; Editing by Alison Williams)