Thousands of opposition supporters protest in Kiev

AFP , Wednesday 24 Aug 2011

Tymoshenko supporters defy protest bans as thousands flock to the streets on Independence Day

Thousands of supporters of detained Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko Wednesday defied a court ban to stage a tense protest on Independence Day in central Kiev, an AFP correspondent said.

The protestors engaged in brief clashes with security forces that blocked their intended march route to the offices of President Viktor Yanukovych. After a tense standoff, with protestors shouting "Revolution!" and "Shame!" the crowds started to disperse.

However Tymoshenko's right-hand-man Olexander Turchinov told the protestors to regroup later on Independence Square, the scene of the 2004 Orange Revolution uprising.

A Kiev court late on Tuesday banned the protest, which is being held to mark the 20th anniversary of the Ukrainian parliament's declaration of independence from the Soviet Union.

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