Like a nightmare straight out of George Orwell's 1984, the Ukrainian government is tracking protesters' mobile phones and texting them a very ominous message.
"Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance," those located near fighting between riot police and protesters were sent.
The texts were sent out soon after midnight, just after controversial new laws which ban nearly all forms of protest in the ex-Soviet country were implemented.
The new set of laws have enraged demonstrators. They allow jail terms of up to five years for those who blockade public buildings and the arrest of protesters wearing masks or helmets.
Three hours after the text was sent, riot police pushed past makeshift barricades of charred vehicles in Kiev near the Parliament and were met by protesters wearing in ski masks and helmets, and carrying sticks.
At least two people died on the streets early this morning – the first fatalities in a two-month long protest that had been mostly peaceful until this week.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned that the protests are "getting out of control".
He described the violent clashesas "scary" and accused EU politicians of stirring up the situation.
But opposition leaders have accused the Ukrainian government of provoking the very violence it has been condemning in an effort to discredit and possibly split the protest movement.
“The government tried to marginalise the protest, hoping that after 60 days in the cold people would become tired and leave, and only a different contingent would remain, only bums, but this did not work,” said Yuri Syrotyuk, a deputy head of the nationalist Svoboda party and a member of Parliament.
“The government then decided to provoke a conflict, so some radical element would respond,” he added. “They wanted a schism. They are following the Roman principle of divide and conquer. This is their plan, but it will not work.”
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