Radical protesters (R) clash with Interior Ministry and law enforcement members on the Day of Ukrainian Cossacks, marked by activists and supporters of the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda (Freedom) Party and far-right activists and nationalists to honour the role of the movement in the history of Ukraine, during a rally near the parliament building in Kiev, October 14, 2014.(Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko)

Thirty-seven nationalist rioters have been arrested, and 17 policemen were hurt, after violent radicals besieged the Rada building, demanding special recognition for pro-independence rebels who fought against the Soviet Union in WW II.

The figures were posted by the interior minister Arsen Avakov on his Facebook page. 

Streaming video from the scene showed officers in riot gear standing in tight formations near the building, as occasional bangs from exploding firecrackers were heard in the distance.

The protesters launched their offensive shortly after Ukrainian MPs voted against considering a bill, which would treat Ukrainian nationalists, who fought against Soviet troops during World War II, as war veterans.


Serhii Andrushko @S_Andrushko

Tuesday is the anniversary of the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army), an armed Ukrainian nationalist organization that at one point during the war sided with the Nazis to fight against Russian troops. The organization was accused of war crimes, including the killings of Jews and Poles in Ukraine, and was hunted down after Moscow fought off the Nazi invasion and took control of Ukraine again.


Far-right parties and movements activists clash with riot police in front of the Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev on October 14, 2014.(AFP Photo / Genya Savilov)

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