Flower power

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Riot police officers guard the Ukrainian presidential administration building in Kiev yesterday with paper flowers placed onto their shields by Pro-European Union activists.

UKRANIAN president Viktor Yanukovych has met his Russian counterpart Vladamir Putin to discuss closer co-operation while protests continued in the capital over a decision to scrap a deal with the EU.

No details were given, but the meeting is a challenge to leaders of the protests that broke out last month after Mr Yanukovych stepped back from signing a long-anticipated agreement to deepen economic and political ties with the European Union. Moscow has been pressuring Ukraine to join a trade bloc including Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

A sizeable tent camp for protesters – including field kitchens – has been set up in Kiev’s main square.