More than 100 people have been killed in Kiev in the third day of violence since the so-called “Euromaidan” protests intensified in Ukraine.
Citing the head of the protesters’ medical service, CNN reported that more than 100 people were dead and another 500 injured in the clashes between demonstrators and riot police in Kiev. Shocking photos of Kiev showed the Ukraine capital in flames and bloodied protesters.
A truce between Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders on Wednesday quickly fell apart. Some witnesses told Reuters that snipers were shooting at protesters. The above video shows protesters ducking for cover as they try to escape gunfire.
Yanukovych blamed the dissolution of the truce on the protesters, Reuters reported.
“Protesters broke the truce,” he said in a statement. "The opposition used the negotiation period to buy time, to mobilize and get weapons to protesters. … They are working in organized groups. They are using firearms, including sniper rifles. They are shooting to kill."
Protests against Yanukovych’s government began in November, when the president rejected a trade deal that would bring Ukraine closer to Europe. The protesters want to see closer ties to the European Union, while Yanukovych is closely aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The European Union threatened sanctions against the Ukrainian government for riot police’s use of force against protesters. Stun grenades and water cannons were used to subdue protesters. A YouTube video that was quickly taken down showed a gang of police beating a protester. Other demonstrators claimed police were using both live ammunition and rubber bullets in their attempt to clear Independence Square -- the heart of the Euromaidan protests that have sprouted up across Ukraine.
Meanwhile, there have been reports that protesters captured at least 70 police officers after recapturing Independence Square.