32 Police and National Guard, 20 Protesters Injured in Clash by October Palace

December 17, 2017
Kiev police clash with demonstrators by the October Palace, Dec. 17, 2017

Ukraine Day 1398: LIVE UPDATES BELOW. Former Odessa governor Mikheil Saakashvili led protesters who stormed the October Palace.

Yesterday’s coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.

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32 Police and National Guard, 20 Protesters Injured in Clash by October Palace

Clashes outside October Palace. Photo by EPA/UPG 

Demonstrators stormed the October Palace on Sunday, December 17. There were varying report whether former Odessa governor Mikheil Saakashvili, leader of the Movement of New Forces had urged the storming or not. Since being sacked as governor, Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, has been seeking the impeachment of President Petro Poroshenko

Police said 17 police and 15 National Guard were injured in clashes at the October Palace with demonstrators Sunday. Some were still in the hospital due to the effects of the gas and various injuries.

The National Guard said 60 guardsmen were affected by tear gas and 15 hospitalized. 

Protesters released some noxious gas, and hurled smoke bombs and bottles with water. They also seized riot batons from some police. 
About 20 demonstrators were also injured, mainly from tear-gas.
The US, Canadian and UK embassies in Kiev issued condemnation of the violent protest; the US said the action was “an abuse of the right to peace protest”.
Gordonua.com reported that Saakashvili had urged demonstrators to unblock the October Palace, calling it a “provocation.”
Protesters reportedly demanded two offices for the wives of Ukrainian soldiers.
Gordonua reported that Saakashvili announced that they did not intend to occupy the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) or Bankova street, location of the presidential administration, but intended to organize a headquarters at the October Palace.

The October Palace is a cultural center that became a symbol of the 2013-2014 Maidan protests that ousted Moscow-backed Viktor Yanukovych.
Three criminal cases will be opened against the demonstrators arrested.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick