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Pro-Russia Activists, Nationalists Clash In Kyiv

Activists from the two groups had both gathered to rally in front of the presidential office in the Ukrainian capital.

KYIV -- Hundreds of activists supporting the pro-Russian Party of Shariy have clashed with Ukrainian nationalist groups in Kyiv near the office of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Some 500 activists from the Party of Shariy, which was founded by a controversial pro-Russian Ukrainian blogger, Anatoliy Shariy, rallied in front of Zelenskiy's office on June 17, urging him to stop police brutality toward protesters.

Some 200 activists of the radical nationalist group Democratic Ax had also gathered at the site for what they called for "a moralizing talk on the theme Kyiv -- the Ukrainian city."

Reports say activists from the nationalist group started throwing firecrackers and smoke grenades at the activists from the Party of Shariy after they began marching toward the Interior Ministry, which led to clashes between the two groups.

Police intervened to restore order.

The pro-Russian group was upset about what happened on June 15 outside a court in Kyiv, when a former leader of a far-right Ukrainian paramilitary group in Odesa, Serhiy Sternenko, was placed under house arrest.

After the June 15 demonstration, photos and videos appeared online showing police beating the demonstrators.

Kyiv police officials say they have launched an internal investigation into the incident.