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Ukrainian Parliament Surrounded By Mystery Fence

A new fence surrounds the parliament building in Kyiv.
A new fence surrounds the parliament building in Kyiv.
KYIV -- The Ukrainian parliament building in Kyiv is now completely surrounded by a high fence, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

One section of the fence was built this summer from Constitution Square to Mariinsky Park, where the unicameral Verkhovna Rada is located.

This week another section more than 2 meters high with pointed apexes was extended from the side of Mariinsky Palace. Those sections join up with a smaller fence that runs along Hrushevsky Street.

The parliament building is guarded by police around the clock.

Parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn said on October 4 he did not know who is building fences around the parliament and how the construction is financed, but promised to find out who is responsible.

Party of Regions faction leader Oleksandr Yefremov also denied any involvement on the part of parliament deputies.

"If the leadership of law enforcement bodies consider this necessary for some reason, or economic structures are doing this, I can assure you, this is not a decision by the parliament deputies," Yefremov said.

He added that no fence can divide the government and the people.

Last month, thousands of Soviet veterans of the Afghan war and the Chornobyl nuclear disaster clean-up tried to storm the parliament building to protest planned social cuts.

They tore down part of the fence, which has been replaced with the higher one.

The Kyiv police told RFE/RL they were not involved in the construction of the fences. The Kyiv city administration declined to confirm or deny it ordered any of the fences to be built.

Oles Doniy, a parliament member representing the opposition Our Ukraine -- People's Self-Defense faction, told RFE/RL on October 3 it was not important which city agency was involved.

"The authorities fear the people more and more. The fence is a kind of symbol that democracy is now locked in Ukraine," Doniy said.

Opposition deputies also say they think the parliament leadership is aware of who ordered the fence construction.

Read more in Ukrainian here and see video here