Kiev Court Bans Protests

Prompting fears in Ukraine of a government crackdown


A court has banned rallies in the center of the Ukrainian capital, raising fears that the government was preparing to tear down a large protest encampment that has been the epicenter of anti-government protests for weeks.

The demonstrations broke out in November after President Viktor Yanukovych's abrupt decision to freeze ties with the European Union and seek better ties with Russia instead.

A Kiev court upheld a request by city authorities to ban large gatherings in the center of the capital until March 8. The ruling was dated Jan. 8 but only published on Wednesday.