Ukrainian nationalists in street clashes with communists
Ukrainian nationalists and communists exchanged punches and hurled eggs on Monday as marchers for the two groups clashed in the capital Kiev, dpa reported.
The incident took place as some 700 supporters of Ukraine's Soviet-era socialist regime were marching down Kiev's main Khreschatyk street to mark the 94th anniversary of the 1917 Communist overthrow of Russia's monarchy.
Nationalists attempted to tear away red banners carried in the communists' front ranks, and hurled eggs and other objects into the communist column, witnesses said.
A second and larger fistfight occurred in Kiev's central Maidan square, when nationalists set on fire a Soviet flag, and communist activists attempted to put the fire out.
Police arrested three men, all members of Ukraine's leading nationalist political party Svoboda, on public disturbance charges, the Interfax news agency reported. There were no reports of injuries.
The communist demonstration was allowed to go forward by police, although a Kiev judge on Sunday issued a temporary ban on demonstrations in the city, the Unian news agency reported.
A smaller communist march took place in the Ukrainian port city Odessa, also in violation of a court order against political demonstrations, according to news reports.
Ukraine's communists and nationalists are at opposite ends of the former Soviet republic's political spectrum.
The nationalists support European-style government along with Ukrainian ethnic purity. The communists for the most part support Ukraine's re-unification with Russia, and wide social benefits. dpa sbk mat Author: Stefan Korshak