Photos: Violence and Protests at Ukraine's Parliament in Kiev

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Demonstrators clash with police outside the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine on August 31. Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

Ukraine's parliament was the site of mass protests and violence on Monday as Ukrainians expressed their displeasure with legislation that could grant local governments in eastern Ukraine greater autonomy.

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Ukrainian deputies attend a parliament session in Kiev, Ukraine, August 31. Ukraine's parliament on Monday voted for constitutional changes to give its eastern regions a special status that it hopes will blunt their separatist drive, but divisions among pro-Western lawmakers suggested they will have a rougher ride to become law. Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

The legislation is meant to curb violence in the wartorn region, but some activists call it "anti-Ukrainian" and "pro-Vladimir Putin."

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addresses the nation following clashes outside parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, August 31. Reuters/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service

President Petro Poroshenko worked to avoid such readings of the legislation. "I am consciously undertaking steps to share my powers in favor of local communities and reinforce them with redistribution of financial resources. So that more money and more power for local communities corresponded with more responsibility and influence of local communities and citizens," he said in a speech.

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Demonstrators clash with police outside the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine, August 31. Many carry Svoboda Party flags. Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

Regardless of the president's encouraging words, the protests turned violent as demonstrators tried to take down the fence around parliament and began to battle with police officers and national guardsmen.

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Injured police officers scream in pain as they fall, shortly after an explosion outside the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine, August 31. Reuters

About 90 people were injured throughout the day, including 15 police officers.

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People clash with police outside the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine on August 31. Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

A grenade was thrown, injuring many of those in attendance. "To throw grenades on your guards, who just returned from the front, this isn't political. This is an anti-Ukrainian war of scoundrels, no matter what they call themselves," Arsen Avakov, Ukraine's minister of internal affairs, said in a statement.

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An injured national guard is carried away by fellow officers outside the parliament building in Kiev on August 31. Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

As a result of the violence, about 30 people were arrested, including the person suspected of throwing the grenade.

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A demonstrator uses pepper spray against police outside the parliament building in Kiev on August 31. Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

One service member died in the demonstrations. Many others clashed with protesters.

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Demonstrators, who are against a constitutional amendment on decentralization, clash with police outside the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine, August 31. Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

According to Avakov, some of the service members patrolling the protest had recently returned from the front lines of the war in eastern Ukraine.

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A demonstrators swings at police with a baton outside the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine, August 31. Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

"No political goal will justify what happened today," the minister said.

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Interior ministry officers stand next to a pool of blood outside the parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine, August 31. Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters
Photos: Violence and Protests at Ukraine's Parliament in Kiev | World