The area around central Kiev descended into a warzone on Wednesday with protesters and police clashing against a backdrop of flames, burning tyres and snow. Heavily armoured officers met protesters throwing Molotov cocktails, and brandishing chains and guns. Three people have already died, according to emergency services, with more fatalities expected.
Despite appeals for calm, police in riot gear confronted the anti-government protesters with force after Prime Minister Mykola Azarov continued to take a tough line, branding the protesters “terrorists”.
Although President Viktor Yanukovich has held talks with opposition leaders, the violence, sparked when Ukraine ditched a trade deal with the European Union and turn to Russia for financial aid late last year, looks set to continue.