Clashes erupted in Kiev as city authorities tried to clear away the remnants of the tent colony on Independence Square, known as the Maidan.

The protesters set fire to heaps of tyres, sending clouds of black smoke billowing across the square, recalling the demonstrations earlier this year which chased pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich from power.

Armed riot police moved onto the square as protesters - some of them in combat fatigues and masks and waving clubs - threw bottles and paving bricks at municipal workers who had been dispatched to dismantle the tents and barricades.

The police and workers eventually withdrew, leaving the situation unresolved.