February 18, 2014 8:00 pm
Updated: February 18, 2014 8:30 pm

Ukraine protesters seek safety at Canadian embassy, building not attacked: Foreign Affairs

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Above: Demonstrators sought refuge from the violence inside the Canadian embassy in Kyiv. Christina Stevens reports.

A report the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv came under some form of an attack on Tuesday, amid violent clashes between police and anti-government protesters, turned out to be a case of demonstrators seeking refuge.

Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency cited an official in Ukraine’s Interior Ministry saying “unidentified persons” attacked the embassy.

“A group of unidentified persons armed with sticks burst into the Canadian embassy in Ukraine and started crushing property,” ITAR-TASS reported Oleg Tatarov saying.

Canadian Embassy Kyiv

Tatarov is the deputy head of the Interior Mnistry’s main investigative department, the news agency reported.

According to the report, Tatrov also said the group that attacked the embassy had intended to cause harm to staff.

READ MORE: Riot police move against main protest camp in Kyiv

Rick Roth, director of communications for Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird, sent a series of tweets just before 3 p.m. ET confirming “all Canadian personnel are safe and accounted for.”

Roth said protesters entered the embassy’s reception area “to escape the government’s violence against protesters.

“They are peaceful and have not cause any damage to the premises or harmed staff,” Roth said in his tweets.

Earlier in the day, Baird issued a statement condemning the renewed violence on Tuesday, which has reportedly left at least 18 people dead.

“Canada calls on all sides to show restraint and to cease all acts of violence immediately. No act of violence or repression today will go unnoticed by the Government of Canada, and we will work with our allies in the international community to ensure that those responsible will be held to account,” Baird said in a statement released just as news of the reported embassy attack was breaking.

Baird said Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych had a “solemn responsibility to protect the fundamental right to peaceful assembly.”

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