After a peaceful two-hour rally attended by tens of thousands of EuroMaidan demonstrators, things got ugly as a group of radical protesters attacked police with sticks, stole their shields, stole at least three buses -- setting one on fire -- and threw Molotov cocktails at the officers. They also rammed into the cordon of officers with one of the commandeered police buses.
More than 40 police officers were reportedly injured in the clashes. Several of them remained hosptialized on the evening of Jan. 19. Police said they had arreted four men as suspects in instigating the violence. If convicted, they face up to 15 years in prison.
Hundreds of police officers were guarding a government district that included the Cabinet of Ministers, Presidential Administration and Verkhovna Rada. All are located in the same general area near European Square. They set up the cordon on Hrushevskoho Street at the base of the hill at Kyiv's Dynamo Stadium to prevent protesters from getting to the government buildings.
Police used water cannons to put out fires and also douse demonstrator.
Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko was attacked with spray from a fire extinguisher when he tried to intervene between police and protesters.
The clashes continued into the night on Jan. 19.