Social unrest erupted on Tuesday outside the parliament building in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, amid the escalating tensions between the US and Russia over Ukraine.
Russian news agency TASS reports small and medium-sized business owners tried to storm the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, over changes to the tax system implemented this year.
Opponents of the new rules, pushed by President Volodymyr Zelensky, said the law that makes cash registers required for all businesses should be abolished. They also called for a simplified tax system.
Stunning photos and videos surfaced on Twitter showing protesters surrounding the parliament building, waving Ukrainian flags.
Майдан предпринимателей Украины в Киеве (хроника N2) pic.twitter.com/xM09uabxA7— Дядюшка Хо (@dyadushka_ho) January 25, 2022
The protesters attempted to enter the parliament building. TASS said, "the picketers are again attempting to enter the Rada. Police cordons do not allow them to do so yet."
Протесты предпринимателей в Киеве. (Хроники митингов N3) pic.twitter.com/S04CrPOQmo— Дядюшка Хо (@dyadushka_ho) January 25, 2022
Then all hell broke out. "During previous clashes, the protesters managed to break through the fence and they came very close to the parliament," the Russian news agency said.
Хроники протестов предпринимателей Украины в Киеве. N4— Дядюшка Хо (@dyadushka_ho) January 25, 2022
(ФОПы начали попытку штурма Рады. Охрана закрыла входы и выходы из здания на замок.) pic.twitter.com/d12ibmdSpp
Ukrainian media reports at least two dozen were attested, and a number of protesters and police officers suffered injuries due to the clashes.
Rada lawmakers were evacuated from the building as the unrest outside unfolded, leaving only journalists and police officers in the building.
The unrest outside the parliament building comes as President Biden and western corporate media drum up the threat of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine. Biden said it would be the "largest invasion since World War II."
Biden's remarks come as the US orders family members and embassy staff to leave Ukraine. About 8,500 US troops were put on high alert as tensions between NATO and Russia over Ukraine worsened this week.