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Police defectors welcomed to Independence Square in Kyiv

Police defectors welcomed to Independence Square in Kyiv
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A police chief and his men were welcomed as heroes as they marched into Independence Square.

He and his men had just defected, leaving their posts in Radekhiv, a small town in Western Ukraine.

The head of the unit, who says he has served in Afghanistan, explained their actions:

“How are we supposed to look on if they are shooting at a peaceful population, who are we to look on calmly when we gave our vows to protect the Ukrainian people and not some bunch of oligarchs,” said Vasil Krikovsky.

There was an official welcome from one of the protesters’ leaders, the former interior minister Yuri Lutsenko, who said a victory was closer than ever.

But if violence should erupt again, there is the prospect of these latest recruits to the protesters ranks having to face up to their former police colleagues.