Video of a protester being beaten by Ukrainian authorities is going viral Tuesday on YouTube as Euromaidan clashes between Ukrainian protesters and riot police intensified.
There were reports that three protesters were killed in the clashes, although those reports were unconfirmed, the New York Times reported. Citing police, AFP put the number of dead protesters at “at least five.” Protesters who vacated the city hall building in Kiev two days ago returned to reoccupy the structure.
The video, which runs for more than a minute and can be viewed above, shows a man wailing as riot police surround him and beat him with what appear to be batons before he falls to the ground. He is then seen being stood up and handcuffed as the video ends.
The violence in Ukraine, known as the Euromaidan, began in November after the country’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, signaled that he wanted stronger ties to Russia by rejecting an agreement for closer integration with the European Union (the Washington Post has a primer on Euromaidan here). The protests later grew from this issue to encompassing human rights abuses in Ukraine, government corruption in the country and Yanukovych’s perceived abuse of power.
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Protests have been staged across Ukraine, with the strongest clashes in Kiev. On Tuesday morning, the Euromaidan protests intensified when anti-government activists threw stones and Molotov cocktails at riot police, according to the Times. The ruling Regions Party’s headquarters was also set on fire.
The intensification of the protests led Ukraine’s interior ministry and state security agency to issue a joint statement warning about having to take “grave actions” if the Euromaidan demonstrations don’t die down.
"If unrest continues we will be forced to take grave actions," the statement read, according to AFP.
The protests also led authorities to shut Kiev’s subway system.