Riots broke out in front of Ukraine's Rada (parliament) building in Kiev Monday as activists threw grenades at police, violently opposing amendments to a new constitution that would give pro-Russian regions in the east more power. More than 100 people were wounded in the fighting, and at least one person, a police officer, was reported dead.
Authorities detained 30 people for the mayhem, including the man accused of throwing the grenade that allegedly killed the officer. A video posted to YouTube appears to show the man who threw the grenade.
30 people have been detained after grenade attack outside Ukraine parliament: interior minister Avakov. 100+ wounded pic.twitter.com/rf95nai74G
— Alec Luhn (@ASLuhn) August 31, 2015
Journalists, protesters and national guardsmen were among the wounded as violence escalated in Kiev, with protesters throwing Molotov cocktails and grenades, and tear gas being used on both sides. The Ukrainian National Guard confirmed its soldiers were among those hurt in the fighting outside the parliament building.
The protests in front of Ukrainian Rada came as tensions along the eastern border with Russia escalated throughout August, with accusations of ceasefire violations on both sides.
— Mashable (@mashable) August 31, 2015
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, backed by the United States and European nations, supports the amendments to the constitution, saying they will bring peace to the turbulent eastern regions, where a rebellion has been raging for 16 months. The Western-backed constitutional reforms are required under a peace deal signed in February, which called for Kiev to implement "decentralization" by the end of this year. The reforms grant more powers to regional and local lawmakers, but do not create the semi-autonomous status pro-Russian rebels are seeking. Nationalist critics have called the proposed changes "anti-Ukrainian" and "pro-Vladimir Putin."
The legislation achieved enough votes to push it through to another round of voting Tuesday. Lawmakers had 265 votes of the 300 Monday needed to ratify the amendments.