Veterans of the Chernobyl nuclear clean-up operation have been battling police outside Ukraine’s parliament in Kiev.
Some 1,000 so-called ‘liquidators’ broke down a metal fence, protesting planned cuts to their social benefits.
“Shame” the demonstrators cried outside the chamber, defending their right to the payments for the sacrifices they have made.
“I have already had two heart attacks, I came because I don’t have anything to buy medicine with. I simply don’t have enough,” lamented Vasily, one of those taking part in the protest.
Asked what he will do next, Vasily was defiant. “We will take parliament down brick by brick and hang the MPs one by one,” he said.
It is 25 years since the world’s worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl sent a radioactive cloud over much of the former Soviet Union and many countries in Europe. With clean-up workers in the front line, controversy still rages over the number of deaths with estimates ranging from dozens to thousands.