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200 EU-Ukraine Integration Supporters Beaten in Dnipropetrovsk

Protesters in Dnipropetrovsk on Sunday. @rozhkovsky

Several dozen unidentified attackers beat up a group of protesters who had gathered at a train station in the Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk ahead of their planned trip to join the ongoing street rallies in Kiev, an opposition party said.

Police who arrived to disperse Sunday's clash detained several victims, instead of their attackers, Ukraine's nationalist opposition Svoboda party said in a statement. It didn't specify the number of those detained or the severity of any injuries.

Svoboda described the attackers as about 50 "athletically built men," adding that while they were greatly outnumbered by the 200 or so protesters, the attackers took advantage of the fact that the protesters were standing in disjointed smaller groups and "had no experience in armed resistance."

Dnipropetrovsk, a southeastern industrial city with a substantial Russian-speaking population, has been the scene of several clashes between supporters of Ukraine's integration into the European Union and their opponents over the past few days.

A few more supporters of the EU deal, which Ukraine's government shelved last week, were beaten near a bus station in Dnipropetrovsk, as they were preparing to head to Kiev, Interfax reported Monday. Police arrested several attackers and their victims.

Last week, several dozen young men beat up protesters who had gathered in a central Dnipropetrovsk square to support EU integration over the previous two days, Ukraine's UNIAN news agency reported.

On Sunday, an assembly of EU supporters in Dnipropetrovsk collected 24,000 Ukrainian hryvnia ($2,900) to finance a trip by 600 people to Kiev to take part in the EU protests.

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