Protesters clashed with police in Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv after a new language law was passed that increases the official status of Russian in the former Soviet state.
After the vote on Tuesday, parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn resigned, with opposition politicians saying that it amounts to being a crisis.
“A full-fledged political crisis has started in Ukraine,” opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk was quoted by Radio Free Europe as saying.
“The so-called stability of [President Viktor] Yanukovych has definitively collapsed. There is no more a myth about stability. There is a weak president, a deficient parliament, absent state institutions, a destroyed constitution, and a complete collapse of honesty, morality, and political responsibility of a so-called political elite of Ukraine,” he added.
On Wednesday, throngs of protesters clashed with police, who fired tear gas at them in front of a building where Yanukovych was slated to speak. Yanukovych decided to postpone his speech until later due to the protests, of which around 1,000 people took part.
The interior ministry told the BBC that around 10 riot police were taken to the hospital with injuries, saying that protesters assaulted them with aerosol sprays and bottles.
The bill grants the Russian language, which is primarily used in easter and southern Ukraine, “regional language” status, the BBC reported.
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