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News // Coal

Clashes over blockade of coal from eastern Ukraine, 7 people have been arrested

20 February 2017 , 17:31Neftegaz.RU584

The violence broke out after more than 1,000 demonstrators gathered to back the blockade between the coal-producing separatist east and the rest of Ukraine, which Kiev has warned could cause nationwide power cuts and job losses.

 

At least 7 protestors were detained as clashes erupted on February 19, 2017, between Ukrainian police and ultra-nationalists backing a rail blockade in Kiev.

Ukraine has declared a state of emergency in the energy sector over the railway blockade, which was launched in late January to protest at Kiev trading with rebels in the east.

 

Participants of the blockade have obstructed the passage of nearly 16,000 train cars since the beginning of the action, said Ukrainian people's deputy Semen Semenchenko.

About 100 people are currently involved in the blockade, he said.

 

The protesters had been escorted by hundreds of members of the security forces as they marched from Kiev’s Independence or Maidan square to the offices of the president.

The pro-Western leader Poroshenko has warned that the coal delivery stoppage would leave parts of Kiev and other cities without heating, and said it could cost 300,000 jobs as factories grind to a halt without power.

 

But protesters took aim at Poroshenko at Sunday’s march.

«Shame on the corrupt government!», «The enemy is within!» they shouted, some hurling firecrackers before the clashes.

 

The 34-month conflict in eastern Ukraine has claimed more than 10,000 lives and left Kiev without full control of its vital industrial belt.

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