Police, protesters in nightlong confrontations in Ukrainian capital

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Associated Press

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 3:33 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 10 at 3:34 AM

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — There have been confrontations in Ukraine's capital overnight between riot police and anti-government protesters.

There are no official figures on injuries, but Ukrainian media quote an opposition leader as saying several protesters were injured when police tore down the small tent encampments blocking access to government buildings in Kiev. The Tuesday incident appeared to be less violent than the club-swinging police dispersals of demonstrators a week and a half ago.

The protests are now in their third week. They started after President Viktor Yanukovych (yah-noo-KOH'-vich) backed away from signing an agreement deepening ties with the European Union. Many Ukrainians favor the pact, seeing it as tilting the country toward the West and lessening Russia's influence on the former Soviet republic.

Police violence against the early demonstrations outraged many and drove hundreds of thousands of people into the streets the past two Sundays. The turnouts were larger even than the mass protests of the 2004 Orange Revolution that forced a rerun of a fraudulent presidential election

APPHOTO XSG102: Ukrainian riot police guard Ukrainian government buildings in Kiev, Ukraine, early Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. Heavily armed riot troops broke into the offices of a top Ukrainian opposition party in Kiev and seized its servers Monday, the party said, as anti-government protests crippled the capital for yet another day. Elsewhere police dismantled or blocked off several small protest tent camps set up near key national government buildings in the city. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) (10 Dec 2013)

APPHOTO XAZ108: Riot police destroy a tent while trying to displace pro-European Union activists from their barricades at the Ukrainian presidential administration building in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. Heavily armed riot troops broke into the offices of a top Ukrainian opposition party in Kiev and seized its servers Monday, the party said, as anti-government protests crippled the capital for yet another day. Elsewhere police dismantled or blocked off several small protest tent camps set up near key national government buildings in the city. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) (10 Dec 2013)

APPHOTO XAZ106: A young man leaves a barricade as riot police try to displace pro-European Union activists from their barricades at the Ukrainian presidential administration building in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. Heavily armed riot troops broke into the offices of a top Ukrainian opposition party in Kiev and seized its servers Monday, the party said, as anti-government protests crippled the capital for yet another day. Elsewhere police dismantled or blocked off several small protest tent camps set up near key national government buildings in the city. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) (10 Dec 2013)

APPHOTO XAZ104: Riot police try to displace pro-European Union activists from their barricades at the Ukrainian presidential administration building in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. Heavily armed riot troops broke into the offices of a top Ukrainian opposition party in Kiev and seized its servers Monday, the party said, as anti-government protests crippled the capital for yet another day. Elsewhere police dismantled or blocked off several small protest tent camps set up near key national government buildings in the city. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) (10 Dec 2013)

APPHOTO XAZ105: Riot police push away pro-European Union activists from their barricades at the Ukrainian presidential administration building in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. Heavily armed riot troops broke into the offices of a top Ukrainian opposition party in Kiev and seized its servers Monday, the party said, as anti-government protests crippled the capital for yet another day. Elsewhere police dismantled or blocked off several small protest tent camps set up near key national government buildings in the city. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) (10 Dec 2013)

APPHOTO XAZ103: Riot police try to displace pro-European Union activists from their barricades at the Ukrainian presidential administration building in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. Heavily armed riot troops broke into the offices of a top Ukrainian opposition party in Kiev and seized its servers Monday, the party said, as anti-government protests crippled the capital for yet another day. Elsewhere police dismantled or blocked off several small protest tent camps set up near key national government buildings in the city. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) (10 Dec 2013)

APPHOTO XAZ143: Pro-European Union activists gather in their tent camp on Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 9, 2013. Hundreds of police in full riot gear flooded into the center of Kiev on Monday as mass anti-government protests gripped the Ukrainian capital for yet another week, raising fears of an imminent crackdown. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov) (9 Dec 2013)

APPHOTO XAZ112: Pro-European Union activists stand on their barricades as riot police prepare to storm at the Ukrainian presidential administration building in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. Heavily armed riot troops broke into the offices of a top Ukrainian opposition party in Kiev and seized its servers Monday, the party said, as anti-government protests crippled the capital for yet another day. Elsewhere police dismantled or blocked off several small protest tent camps set up near key national government buildings in the city. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) (10 Dec 2013)

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