Members of Ukraine’s far right parties hurled toy pigs at riot police during an anti-government demonstration in Kyiv on March 16.
Several thousand people rallied outside the government offices and chanted nationalist slogans. With only two weeks to go before presidential elections on March 31, tensions have been rising as the population are increasingly dissatisfied with the government that has failed to deliver on the promises of a better life made during the 2014 Maidan revolution. A poll from the US-funded International Republican Institute (IRI) NGO last year found that over 70% of Ukrainians consistently believe their country is going in the “wrong direction.”
Thousands of people protested and were mostly members of the right-wing radical political party National Corps and the National Wives organisation, reports RFE/RL. The demonstration was provoked by a mushrooming defence contracts scandal where bne IntelliNews award winning reporter Graham Stack found evidence linking President Petro Poroshenko with a defence contract scam, reported in the article “"Ukrainian Papers" massive business data leak embroils Poroshenko in a new corruption scandal” on March 14.
The protestors gathered near the Presidential Administration and faced off with a four-deep line of police in full riot gear but began to pepper them with a barrage of soft toy pigs. One man even brought a catapult, which he used to launch pigs into the phalanx of police officers. The police remained calm and the protest was largely peaceful.
This was the second demonstration in a week by the right wing groups against the defence scandal.