At least one policeman is believed to have been fatally shot while dozens were injured in a blast in front of Ukraine’s parliament in Kiev on Monday, amid protests against legislation that would grant portions of war-torn eastern Ukraine greater autonomy. Demonstrators had gathered at the parliament building to express their frustration with the proposed bill, and attempted to break down a fence surrounding the building as politicians argued about the controversial decision which could allow local lawmakers in the Donestk area more power.
Dozens of police officers guarding the parliament building were injured when a blast ocurred, the BBC reported, with as many as 100 total injuries could be expected. Reuters reported the blast was caused by a grenade, citing witnesses, though authorities have yet to confirm. One National Guard soldier has died after being shot, according to officials.
If passed, the measure under debate would allow the areas most seriously affected by pro-Russian separatists to be slightly more autonomous without entirely handing control to the rebels. The legal change is meant to curb violence and has been supported by Ukraine’s western allies. Such reforms were outlined in an agreement between international leaders, Ukraine and Russia reached in Minsk this past February.