Ukraine protesters clash with police trying to clear out barricades near government buildings

Anti-government protesters have held their ground through a night of violent street clashes in the Ukrainian capital, despite police moving in to dismantle barricades erected in a street leading to government offices.

Police attempted to move in on the protest camp early Tuesday, but faced fierce resistance from demonstrators who tossed fire bombs and stones in their direction.

Police responded with stun grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets, and were able to dismantle a catapult and a barricade built by protesters before being pushed back to their original positions by the crowd.

Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko accused the government of paying thugs to delegitimize the protests through violence. He said that the thugs, who were tasked with smashing windows and burning cars, were chased away by protesters.