Ukraine’s months-long protest against the government of Viktor Yanukovych—set off by the president’s refusal to enter into a trade agreement that would have put the post-Soviet country on the road to EU membership—reached a terrifying zenith this week, as the streets of Kiev became engulfed in a violent struggle between activists and authorities. Police armed with machine guns and pro-government gangs flooded into the Euromaidan square, where protesters met them with rocks, bats and fire bombs. Bellow, see pictures of the volatile capital below and follow the evolving situation in Ukraine on The Daily Beast.
Watch live footage from the Euromaidan (Independence Square) area of Kiev, Ukraine on YouTube.
Video surfaced on YouTube Wednesday of the devastating aftermath of clashes between the protesters and police. Dozens of bodies—some moving, others still—are seen lying around the streets of Kyiv. It also, Christopher Miller tweets, shows titushki (the Ukrainian President's strongmen) working with the police.
The above video shows protesters throwing Molotov cocktails at an approaching armored personnel carrier, which then bursts into flames. The New York Times reports a number of police officers have died of gunshot wounds in Kiev, although witnesses say some may have been trapped in a burning vehicle—possibly this one.
Monasteries and hotels were turned into impromptu hospitals and food and water banks on Thursday to aid injured protesters, as reports emerged of snipers in central Kiev.