Violence Breaks Out During Small-Business Protest at Ukraine's Parliament

Clashes broke out at Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, in Kyiv on Tuesday, January 25, as crowds rallied in favor of protections for small businesses.

Police said 18 officers and 3 protesters were injured as a number of demonstrators tried to break through police lines and enter the Verkhovna Rada, prompting officers to push back.

Sixty-three people were detained, police said.

The protest was organized by SaveFOP, an organization that “argues planned tax reforms would hurt small businesses,” according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the US-funded news organization that shot this footage. FOP is an abbreviation of the Ukrainian term for an individual entrepreneur, and is akin to “sole proprietorship” in the United States or “sole trader” in the United Kingdom, according to Ukrainian legal professionals.

Additionally, Kyiv police released security-camera video to dispel rumors that one demonstrator had died, after SaveFOP organizers posted two videos on Facebook showing a man receiving medical care on a street and wrote that he was “allegedly murdered and taken away by police.”

In response, police said: “This information is untrue and refuted after watching CCTV cameras. The man, who lost consciousness, was given first aid by police and the National Guard, after which he and a friend left the scene on their own.”

Demonstrators returned to the Verkhovna Rada, on Wednesday, though in smaller numbers and with no reports of violence. Credit: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty via Storyful

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