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Kyiv: Clashes over use of Russian (VIDEO)

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July 4, 2012, 12:08 p.m. | Ukraine — by Associated Press

Opposition activists have clashed with riot police in the center of the Ukrainian capital during a protest against a controversial bill that would allow the use of Russian in official settings in Russian-speaking regions.
© Kostyantyn Chernichkin

Associated Press

Associated Press

Opposition activists have clashed with riot police in the center of the Ukrainian capital during a protest against a controversial bill that would allow the use of Russian in official settings in Russian-speaking regions.

Lawmakers loyal to President Viktor Yanukovych, who draws his support from the Russian-speaking east and south, rushed the bill through parliament late Tuesday, July 3.

Members of the pro-Western opposition oppose the bill, saying it would undermine the Ukrainian language by removing any incentive for millions of Ukrainians to learn and speak it.

Over 1,000 protesters on Wednesday, July 4, rallied outside a government building in central Kyiv where Yanukovych was to hold a news conference. Black-clad riot police moved in and fired tear gas after the activists attempted to block the entrance to the building.

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