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Protesters Clash With Police, Seek Entry Into Ukraine Parliament

Ukrainian Veterans, Workers Clash With Police Outside Parliament
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KYIV -- Crowds of protesters including coal miners, Chernobyl cleanup workers, and Soviet Afghan war veterans have clashed with police outside the Ukrainian parliament.

Some of the more than 2,000 protesters broke though a police cordon and were trying to enter the parliament building during the demonstration on June 19.

Police used what appeared to be tear gas, but the protest continued.

The protesters included veterans of the Soviet Union's 1979-89 war in Afghanistan, "liquidators" who were sent to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after the 1986 disaster there, coal miners, and Ukrainians who have fought in the ongoing war with Russia-backed separatists in the country's east.

Their demands included improved benefits for public transportation use, increases in state support for disabled veterans, and the allocation of billions of hryvnyas for the development of the country’s struggling coal industry.

Kyiv police said earlier that the protests caused complications for transport on two major streets in the city center.

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