More than 200 people, roughly half them protesters, have been injured in violent clashes with police during the last 24 hours in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, health officials and the Interior Ministry said Monday.
The city health department said that 103 protesters were treated for injuries, 42 of whom were hospitalized, the Interfax news agency reported. According to the Interior Ministry, about 100 police officers were injured, 61 of whom were hospitalized, dpa reported.
The worst violence since mass anti-government protests broke out in November was triggered by last week's passage of new laws that protesters and human rights groups said are designed to stifle dissent.
The protesters demand that Ukraine allies itself more strongly with the European Union and that President Viktor Yanukovych calls early elections. Yanukovych had refused to sign a partnership agreement with the EU and sought closer ties with Russia instead.