KIEV, Ukraine, Aug. 31 (UPI) — A Ukrainian national guard soldier died Monday in clashes with protesters over reforms for independence of the eastern portion of the country.
A raucous session of the country’s parliament saw members voting to approve more powers in the eastern areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, which are currently under pro-Russian rebel control. A total of 256 members of parliament pledged their support for the first reading of the proposed bill.
After the vote, at least 90 police officers and 10 protesters were hurt as violence ensued outside parliament in Kiev. Demonstrators attempted to break a fence in order to get into the building. At least four officers were in serious condition.
Ukrainian government official Anton Gerashchenko said a grenade was thrown at police.
One national guard soldier died from the blast, local television network Hromadske reported, citing Mayor Vitali Klitschko.
Gerashchenko corroborated the news. He identified the soldier as 25-year-old Debrinu Igor. He hailed from the Kherson region of Ukraine and joined the force during a spring recruiting campaign.
Meanwhile, in the eastern regions under rebel control, a fragile ceasefire is in place after a joint agreement between rebels and Ukrainian forces to end the violence Tuesday when children in the area return to school. The bill is a critical part of the Minsk agreement, which was signed in February by Ukraine’s government and the self-proclaimed Donbass region.
Ukrainians are upset with the government’s willingness to make deals with a group they see as terrorists.