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Ukraine’s New Police Chief Frees Protesters Detained at Unrest

© RIA Novosti . Andrey Stenin / Go to the photo bankNight protest on the Independence square in central Kiev, February 22, 2014
Night protest on the Independence square in central Kiev, February 22, 2014 - Sputnik International
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Ukraine’s new interior minister ordered Sunday to free 64 protesters detained during this week’s riots in downtown Kiev.

MOSCOW, February 23 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s new interior minister ordered Sunday to free 64 protesters detained during this week’s riots in downtown Kiev.

Oleh Makhnitsky, the parliament’s point man for affairs of the prosecutor general’s office, said all detainees have been released as of Sunday afternoon.

Opposition lawmaker Arsen Avakov, who was appointed acting interior minister on Saturday, has urged investigation into the action of police during the riots.

The street violence in Ukraine’s capital this week is the worst the nation has seen since it gained independence in 1991.

Ukraine’s Health Ministry said Sunday 82 people were killed and 645 injured over five days of fighting.

At least 16 officers were killed, mainly from gunshot wounds.

The increasingly intransigent standoff between the government and opposition took a bloody turn Tuesday when a crowd marching on parliament was confronted by law enforcement officers.

 

Updates with the release of all protesters, recasts throughout

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