Ukraine: Kiev Parliament Bombed, Dozens Injured

AP Photo/Vladimir Donsov
AP Photo/Vladimir Donsov

Violence erupted in front of the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev after a protester threw a grenade at National Guard servicemen and policemen who stood guard outside the building. The explosion killed one person and injured hundreds of policemen.

Protesters are believed to mainly be members of far-right groups, Svoboda Party and the Right Sector, who attended the protest to show their displeasure over a controversial bill to grant greater autonomy to areas in the war-torn east.


Igor Derbin, 25, passed away at the hospital. Lawmaker Anton Gerashchenko stated the young man only started his National Guard service in the spring.

“Apart from grenades, the provocateurs were using firearms, shooting secretly,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Police arrested the man an hour after the explosion.

Opponents of the bill believe the new Ukrainian government is caving to “Russian demands that Ukraine adopt a federalized system of government.” The war in east Ukraine, known as Donbass, broke out after parliament ousted Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014. Russia then invaded the country to support the pro-Russian separatists and annexed Crimea.

Protesters became violent when they heard that parliament “voted to approve the first stage of the bill’s passage.” Witnesses saw people beating “officers with sticks and snatching riot shields from them.” The Kyiv Post claimed over 1,000 protesters were present. The reporters interviewed a few people.

“The amendments deprive Ukraine of its independence and legitimize terrorists,” explained Ihor, a 57-year-old retired law enforcement official.

President Petro Poroshenko addressed the country after the vote and condemned the attack. He said the violence was a “stab in the back.”

Premier Arseniy Yatseniuk also released a statement after the attack.

“As a citizen of the country, I require life imprisonment for the person who threw the grenade, in accordance with Article 348 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, and as a result a soldier of the National Guard was killed,” he declared.


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