Ukraine protesters leave ministry after 'internecine' clash

Activists from the radical Spilna Sprava (Common Cause) leave the agriculture ministry building they had occupied for several days, following clashes with representatives of right wing Ukraine opposition party Svoboda (Freedom) in Kiev, on Wednesday,
Activists from the radical Spilna Sprava (Common Cause) leave the agriculture ministry building they had occupied for several days, following clashes with representatives of right wing Ukraine opposition party Svoboda (Freedom) in Kiev, on Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014. Activists from a radical Ukrainian protest group on Wednesday vacated the agriculture ministry they had occupied for five days after clashes with other opposition protesters who demanded that they leave. -- PHOTO: AFP

KIEV (AFP) - Activists from a radical Ukrainian protest group on Wednesday vacated the agriculture ministry they had occupied for five days after clashes with other opposition protesters who demanded that they leave.

The Spilna Sprava (Common Cause) activists walked out of the agriculture ministry building after representatives of the more mainstream opposition urged them to leave it so as not to impede negotiations with the authorities about an amnesty, an Agence France-Presse correspondent said.

The group of several dozen Spilna Sprava activists were dressed in camouflage gear with their faces concealed behind balaclavas. Some carried shields, the reporter said.

They moved out after dozens of protesters representing the right-wing nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party, which is in negotiations with the government, arrived at the building to push them out.

They were dressed in hardhats and carried sticks but generally did not cover their faces.

Ukraine's Channel Five television reported that there had been an "internecine" clash at the ministry after it was stormed by the Svoboda activists.

It said that several people were injured after non-lethal weapons were used.

Signs have been mounting of a split among protesters as Ukraine's main political parties, including Svoboda, pursue talks with the authorities while radical splinter groups insist on further confrontation.

Parliament on Wednesday was discussing an amnesty for activists jailed in Ukraine's protests, but the authorities have insisted that all occupied ministries be freed first.