Ukrainian police have stormed a court in the capital, Kiev, after dozens of nationalists occupied the building and erected barricades. They were protesting the postponement of a hearing for a radical group’s ex-commander. Some 30 people have been arrested.
Riot police on Tuesday entered the court through the windows, meeting resistance from the radicals who had barricaded themselves inside overnight. To clear the court, police officers deployed tear gas and switched off the lights.
Footage from the scene shows police in riot gear and armed with batons rush into the room and forcibly drag the occupiers outside.
After scuffles broke out, 30 people were taken to the police station, local media reports citing Kiev Police Chief Andrey Krischenko.
At least two journalists reporting from the scene were also arrested despite presenting their press passes, according to media.
On Monday, a district court started a hearing on a former battalion commander from the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), Nikolay Kohanovsky, arrested over the weekend for hooliganism after he fired a non-lethal handgun during a brawl.
However, the judge shifted the proceeding to take place the following morning. Supporters of Kohanovsky, though, demanded to immediately resume the court. The nationalists blocked the doorway with furniture in an attempt to prevent police from taking the ex-commander back to a detention center.
As the officers tried to make their way with the accused, some were pepper-spraying the radicals. They responded by throwing chairs, as can be seen in videos uploaded to social media.