Ukraine Forces Retreat, Ceding Square to Protests

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The New York Times - 12/11/13, by DAVID M. HERSZENHORN and ANDREW E. KRAMER


Mobilizing after midnight, thousands of riot police officers and Interior Ministry troops broke through barricades around Independence Square, pushed demonstrators back and formed tight cordons around them. They then called in bulldozers and other heavy equipment to raze some of the protesters’ tents and barricades.

The security forces clashed with protesters and briefly tried to regain control of City Hall. Then at 10:30 a.m., they abruptly withdrew, raising new questions about Mr. Yanukovich’s handling of the crisis, which has seemed increasingly erratic. The retreat let protesters reclaim the square and they quickly rebuilt their barriers, this time using heaping bags of snow.

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