In Kyiv, the SMM monitored gatherings in the city centre. At about 09:00 the Mission saw up to 3,000 people gather around Independence Square and then walk toward the National Bank of Ukraine on Instytutska Street. At about 11:30 the SMM saw about 1,500 participants (mostly aged 55–70, 75 per cent women) outside the National Bank building, some of whom carried flags of the political party Za Zhytia. About 430 police and National Guard officers were present. The gathering ended peacefully shortly after 13:00.
At about 10:15 the SMM saw hundreds of people (aged 20–60, 60 per cent men) on Sadova Street, many of whom carried flags of the political party Movement of New Forces. At the junction of Sadova and Hrushevskoho Streets, about 80m from the national Parliament building, dozens of police officers and National Guards conducted checks at a security barrier with four portable metal detectors. Beyond the barrier, the Mission saw about 5,000 people (aged 20–70, 65 per cent men) in front of the national Parliament building and in adjacent Mariinskyi Park, many of whom carried flags of political parties, including Movement of New Forces, Samopomich, Batkivshchyna and Svoboda, as well as the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and National Corps. Speakers said that the protestors’ demands included political and electoral reform, the establishment of an anti-corruption court, and the lifting of immunity from prosecution for members of Parliament.
About 3,500 police and National Guard officers, many in riot gear, were nearby. (The SMM also saw up to 100 police officers near the Cabinet of Ministers building, and over 100 police and National Guard officers on Bankova Street.) Staff of a medical unit told the SMM that they had treated one civilian and one police officer for minor concussions, as well as two civilians who had been pepper sprayed. By 17:30, the number of participants had decreased to about 1,500. The Mission saw that about ten large and 20 small tents had been set up on Hrushevskoho Street and in Mariinskyi Park, and hundreds of sleeping bags were present. The Mission did not observe any serious incidents during its presence throughout the day.
In Kyiv, the SMM monitored gatherings in the city centre (see Externer Link: SMM Daily Report 18 October 2017). On 18 October, the SMM saw about 1,000 people (mostly elderly women) gathered near the National Bank of Ukraine on Instytuska Street. About 40 law enforcement officers were present. Protestors carried flags of the political party Za Zhyttia. The protest ended peacefully.
On the same day, at the junction of Sadova and Hrushevskoho Streets, about 80m from the national Parliament building—in the area where on 17 October the SMM saw four portable metal detectors—the SMM saw two police trucks parked in length narrowing the entrance of people into the area and police officers conducting checks of people. Inside the fenced area the SMM saw about 400–500 people on Hrushevskoho Street and in front of the entrance to the Parliament. About 80–100 law enforcement officers were present at the entrance of the fenced area and another 400 in front of the national Parliament building. The Mission saw about 15 large tents on the street, as well as ten additional large and about 30 small tents in the grass area in front of the entrance to the Parliament building. During its presence for about two hours, the SMM did not observe any incident.
On 17 October, in Odessa, the SMM monitored a gathering organized by a political party. The SMM saw about 70 people (aged 30–70, 30 per cent women) in front of the regional state administration building. They carried a flag of Ukraine, a black-and-red flag, and a flag of the organizing political party. Participants called for creation of an anti-corruption court, lifting of immunity of members of Parliament, and a change of the electoral system. The heads of seven political parties gave speeches and proposed a declaration of their demands. Later during the day, the heads of two political parties asked to meet the head of the regional state administration. Fifteen minutes later they entered the building.
On 17 October, in Kharkiv, the SMM monitored a peaceful protest of about 50 people (men and women of different age groups) organized by several political parties. Speakers called for anti-corruption measures, changes to the electoral system and lifting of immunity of members of Parliament.
Throughout the day on 19 October, the SMM saw about 800–1,000 people (60 per cent men, different age groups), some of them in camouflage or black clothing, outside the main entrance to the national Parliament building and on Hrushevskoho Street. The tents, which the SMM had previously observed (see Externer Link: SMM Daily Report 19 October 2017), remained present in the area. About 500 police officers were present around the national Parliament building. At around 17:00, police blocked a group of 50–60 people (mostly men, aged 30–50) who were attempting to bring tents and other materials to the gathering site. The SMM did not observe any incidents during its presence.