KIEV, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Ukrainian riot police charged into groups of anti-government protesters occupying Kiev's Independence square, local television showed.
Protesters, some of them armed with clubs and wearing helmets and body armour, were trying to stand their ground surrounded by plumes of smoke from burning tents and piles of tires and wood.
Over the last few hours police have been steadily gaining ground in the square, where thousands of protesters still remained hearing speeches from their leaders and singing Ukraine's national anthem. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk and Marcin Goettig)
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