Exactly two years ago, 19 January 2014, during Euromaidan in Kyiv, the first escalation of the conflict took place. The law enforcers exercised violent measures against the peaceful protesters.
It happened after the traditional People's Chamber (Narodne Viche) at the Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti), which brought together from 100 to 500 thousand protesters. People were dissatisfied by so-called dictator’s laws, adopted on January 16.
Some speakers put on helmet on their heads as a sign of a fundamental breach of the ban on the wearing of head covering during public events.
Several thousand radical protesters tried to break through the police cordon near the entrance to Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium.
Current mayor of Kyiv, Vitaliy Klitshko, who was the leader of a political party “Udar” at that time, came to make the situation calmer. He was attacked with the foam fire extinguisher.
During the riots, the protesters tried to throw petards into Berkut (special law enforcers), Molotov cocktails, threw the pieces of noise and light grenades, paving stones. They have also fired few buses, which belonged to the police.
Law enforcement officers used water cannons and tear gas to calm the protesters. As it was reported in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, "water cannons on the Hryshevsky street were used to extinguish burning cars," but not against the demonstrators. It was 8 degrees below zero at that day.
There were victims among both of the sides. Particularly, one of the protesters has lost his hand and another one’s eye was damaged.
The law enforcers reported that during the day, more than 70 law enforcers were injured, 40 of them were hospitalized.
Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who headed the fraction Batkivshchyna in Verkhovna Rada, called all these events “a legalization of Berkut Special Forces at Maidan Nezalezhnosti”.