Ukraine protests: Man found dead hanging in Kiev's Independence Square

The metal 'tree' has become a symbol of resistance during Ukraine's recent unrest

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The Independent Online

A man was found dead and hanging from a huge metal structure in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicentre of the country's current unrest, police have said.

The body of the 55-year-old, from the Volyn region of western Ukraine, bore no external wounds, according to the Reuters news agency.

The large metal "New Year tree" is festooned with a poster of the jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko and scrawled with graffiti attacking President Viktor Yanukovich.

Demonstrations began in Kiev in November after President Yanukovich refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union, signalling closer ties with Russia.

They turned violent over a week ago, after the government introduced tough new anti-protest laws.


On Sunday morning, demonstrators stormed Kiev's Ukrainian House convention centre, throwing fireworks and Molotov cocktails at police who had been stationed inside.

Protesters use a large slingshot to hurl a Molotov cocktail at police in central Kiev

But on Monday they were forced to cede the building, after fellow opposition groups accused them of jeopardising peace negotiations.

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