Opponents of a gay rights march held Saturday in Ukraine's capital threw smoke bombs and tear gas, and nine police officers were injured in the clash.

The Interior Ministry said 25 people were detained in the violence surrounding the march of an estimated 300 people. News reports said at least four of the marchers were injured.

One of the policemen was in serious condition with a shrapnel would to his neck, the ministry said.

The march took place in the morning along the Dnipro River in Kiev. Helmeted riot police formed a cordon to keep marchers and opponents at a distance from each other. The opponents threw smoke bombs and some tried to break through the cordon. Some demonstrators were attacked after the march dispersed.

As in other parts of the former Soviet Union, animosity to gays persists. The tensions are aggravated by opponents' claims that Ukraine's political turn toward the West will promote gay marriage.