Supporters of former Georgian President and Ukrainian opposition figure Mikheil Saakashvili clash with police as they try to break into the building of the International Art Centre in Kiev, Ukraine, December 17, 2017. (REUTERS PHOTO)
KIEV, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Dozens were hurt on Sunday in clashes in central Kiev between police and activists during the protest calling for the impeachment of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, authorities said.
Zoryan Shkiryak, an adviser to Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, said in an interview to the local 112 TV channel that at least 30 law enforcement officers injured in the clashes.
Meanwhile, various Ukrainian media outlets reported that several demonstrators were also hurt during the skirmishes.
Earlier, the protest started peacefully at the Khreschatyk street, the central street of Kiev, and later turned violent, when the demonstrators tried to break into a nearby concert hall and set up a "protest headquarter" there.
The police cordoned off the building, where a jazz concert and a kids Christmas party were being held, and prevented the protesters from entering it.
According to the police, about 2,000 activists took part in the demonstration, while the organizers of the protest estimated the number of the rally participants at 5,000.
The protest was headed by former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, now a leader of a Ukrainian oppositional political party "Movement of New Forces".
In the recent weeks, Saakashvili has organized several demonstrations in Kiev against Poroshenko, accusing him of insufficient reform progress and corruption.
Saakashvili, 49, served two terms as Georgian president from 2004 to 2013. He was granted Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015 and appointed governor of Odessa region. On July 26, Poroshenko revoked Saakashvili's Ukrainian citizenship for allegedly submitting false information while applying for a Ukrainian passport.
Saakashvili faces investigation in Ukraine on charges of "aiding members of criminal groups and covering up their criminal activity."