Framework

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Anti-government protesters, continue to their clash with police in Independence square, despite a truce agreed between the Ukrainian president and opposition leaders in Kiev, Ukraine.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

Ukrainian protesters stand behind burning barricades during a face-off against police in Kiev.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: BULENT KILIC / AFP/Getty Images

Protesters catch fire as they stand behind burning barricades during clashes with police in Kiev, Ukraine.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: BULENT KILIC / AFP/Getty Images

An anti-government protester shows empty bullet casings used by Ukrainian riot police against demonstrators in central Kiev.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: BULENT KILIC / AFP/Getty Images

Activists pay respects to protesters killed in clashes with police in Kiev, Ukraine.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: SERGEY DOLZHENKO / EPA

A protester is hurling a cobblestone over a wall of fire toward police forces storming Independence Square in central Kiev.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles Times

A Ukrainian protester stands near the demonstrators' barricades during clashes with riot police in central Kiev.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: BULENT KILIC / AFP/Getty Images

A Ukrainian protester picks up a Molotov cocktail in Kiev's Independence Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles Times

A wounded Ukrainian protester is evacuated during clashes with police in Kiev's Independence Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Efrem Lukatsky / Associated Press

Ukrainian protesters advance toward new positions in Kiev as a truce broke down and clashes with police renewed.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: LOUISA GOULIAMAKI / AFP/Getty Images

Anti-government protesters shelter behind shields during clashes with police in the center of Kiev, Ukraine.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP/Getty Images

Ambulance doctors give first aid to injured anti-government demonstrators during clashes with riot police on Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: YEVGENY MALOLETKA / EPA

Riot police set up a skirmish line against anti-government protesters amid the smoking wreckage of burned vehicles in Kiev on Friday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP

Anti-government protesters stand atop the burned out wreckage of buses, now covered in ice from fire hoses, on a street near Dynamo Stadium in Kiev.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images

A man stands near a mannequin wearing a gas mask set on a barricade erected by protesters in Kiev.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP

Ukrainian demonstrators take cover during clashes with riot police in central Kiev, the capital.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: VASILY MAXIMOV / AFP

A protester shields himself during clashes with police in Kiev.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Sergei Grits / Associated Press

A protester wearing a gas mask stands amid burned tires and garbage.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: VOLODYMYR SHUVAYEV / AFP

A demonstrator prepares to throw a stone toward riot police.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: VASILY MAXIMOV / AFP

Riot police form a barricade in Kiev.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Sergei Chuzavkov / Associated Press

Protesters use tires to set fires in the Ukrainian capital to provide a smokescreen between them and police.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ROMAN PILIPEY / EPA

Suspected pro-government hired thugs are held in Kiev by antigovernment protesters, who tied them, stained their faces and then released them.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Sergei Chuzavkov / Associated Press

Reporters take pictures of the violence in Kiev, with riot police in the background.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Efrem Lukatsky / Associated Press

A police officer runs from protesters.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Sergei Grits / Associated Press

A Ukrainian police officer throws a Molotov cocktail toward protesters.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: YURIY KIRNICHNY / AFP

An Orthodox priest tries to stop clashes between protesters and police in Kiev.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP

Police detain an injured protester.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANATOLII BOIKO / AFP

A woman hits a riot police officer with a cross as he pulls a protester in Kiev.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANATOLIY STEPANOV / AFP

Riot police officers are massed in the capital.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANATOLII BOIKO / AFP

Protesters launch fireworks above a police line in Kiev.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: SERGEY DOLZHENKO / EPA

Protesters reinforce their barricade.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP

Police, seen through a vehicle torched by protesters overnight, block a street in Kiev.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Sergei Grits / Associated Press

Protesters try to overturn a police bus.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: SERGEY DOLZHENKO / EPA

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Anti-government protests turn deadly in Kiev, Ukraine

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Anti-government protests turn deadly in Kiev, Ukraine

[updated FEBRUARY 20, 2014] – KIEV, Ukraine — At least 20 protesters were killed Thursday morning as gunfire rang out in central Kiev, breaking the shaky truce reached between President Victor Yanukovich and opposition leaders the previous night.

Oleh Musiy, chief of the protest camp health service, told The Times that dozens were injured.

Musiy later raised the death toll among protesters to at least 70, the Associated Press reported.] Police reported that one officer died in a hospital of a gunshot wound.

Early in the afternoon, about 200 riot police, many with shotguns, were deployed in the Council of Ministers building in Grushevsky Street.

Story: Ukraine truce collapses; 71 people killed in fresh clashes

KIEV, Ukraine — Enraged protesters stormed government offices in three western Ukraine cities Thursday, forcing one governor to write a letter of resignation, as demonstrations against the pro-Russian president and his allies intensified outside the smoldering capital.

Kiev, the capital, has been the epicenter of two months of protests against President Viktor Yanukovich, which have grown increasingly violent this week. Opposition leaders had given Yanukovich a deadline of Thursday evening to make concessions or face renewed clashes there, and they quenched the barricade fires that had coated the capital in black smoke in a tenuous cease-fire.

The president responded by calling a special session of parliament next week to discuss the tensions, telling parliament’s speaker, “The situation demands an urgent settlement.” But there was no indication that the move represented a compromise, since the president’s backers hold a majority of seats.

The protests began after Yanukovich turned away from closer ties with the European Union in favor of getting a bailout loan from Russia. The protests turned violent this week after Yanukovich pushed through harsh anti-protest laws, rejecting opponents’ demands that he resign and call new elections.

At least two protesters died Wednesday of gunshot wounds, a grim escalation that also galvanized anger in western Ukraine, where support for Yanukovich is virtually nonexistent and most residents want closer ties to the 28-nation EU.

Thursday in Lviv, a city near the Polish border 280 miles west of Kiev, hundreds of activists burst into the office of regional governor Oleh Salo, a Yanukovich appointee, shouting, “Revolution!” and singing Christmas carols.

After activists surrounded him and forced him to sign a resignation letter, one ripped it out of Salo’s hands and lifted it up to the cheers and applause of the crowd.

Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters smashed windows, broke doors and stormed into the governor’s office in the city of Rivne, shouting, “Down with the gang!” — a common reference to Yanukovich’s government. Once inside, they sang the national anthem.

Angry crowds also besieged government offices in two other western regions.

The protests have been centered on Kiev’s main square, where demonstrators have defended a large tent camp for nearly two months. On Wednesday, riot police moved to dismantle barricades erected next to a government district nearby and two people were fatally shot in the clashes.

The opposition has blamed the deaths on authorities, but Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said Thursday that the two men’s wounds were caused by hunting rifles, which the police do not possess.

The opposition maintains that as many as five people died in Wednesday’s clashes, but say they have no evidence because the bodies were removed by authorities.

Azarov, Yanukovich’s staunch ally, maintained a harsh stance against the protesters, calling their actions an attempted coup.

“It’s not the opposition — it’s rebels who are acting against us,” Azarov said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The Interior Ministry said Thursday that 73 people had been detained, 52 of whom are being investigated for “mass riots,” a new criminal charge that carries a prison sentence of up to eight years.

Reaction from the West and neighboring Russia has been mixed.

The United States has revoked the visas of Ukrainian officials linked to violence and threatened more sanctions.

EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Thursday that if the situation in Ukraine did not stabilize, the EU “would assess possible consequences in its relationship.” Barroso also said he had received assurances from Yanukovich that the Ukrainian leader did not see the need to impose a state of emergency.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her nation didn’t think this was the time to consider sanctions against the Ukrainian government, but added that it must comply “with its obligations to secure fundamental democratic rights.”

“We are extremely concerned — not just concerned, appalled — about the way in which laws have been pushed through that raise questions over these fundamental freedoms,” Merkel said.

Russia, meanwhile, accused the West of meddling in Ukraine’s affairs.

“We feel regret and indignation about the obvious foreign interference in the developments in Kiev,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told the daily Komsomolskaya Pravda.

The protesters said they would give peace a chance — a brief one.

“We’re ready to wait so that new victims don’t appear,” said 30-year-old demonstrator Anatoly Lovchenko. “But if the government doesn’t listen to our demands, we’ll start up again.”

Karmanau and Mills write for the Associated Press. Also contributing to this report were AP writers Svetlana Fedas in Lviv, Maria Danilova in Kiev, John-Thor Dahlburg in Davos, Raf Casert in Brussels, Geir Moulson in Berlin and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow.

6 Comments

  1. January 23, 2014, 1:47 pm

    On slide 7/18 – that's NOT paint, it's "zelenka", a common antiseptic in Eastern Europe composed of Brilliant Green and alcohol. Those guys' faces will be stained for days, which is exactly why it's being used. It won't wash off like paint does.

    By: akitchenforeverypot
  2. January 23, 2014, 11:15 pm

    If the Ukraine people had gun rights like we Americans have but Obama Democrats are trying to take from our Constution, the Police Viloence would not be happening in the Ukraine capital, Keiv!

    As a travelier to Kiev, Odessa, and Kherson, Ukraine I fell in love with the common people. They know what government supprersion and police and political corruption is all about. I am an American Disabled Vet, age 60 years old that my heart bleeds for these wonderful, beautiful people.

    I wish I were there to help them from my knowledge of war to stand beside them…We all bleed for our freedom the same!

    I salute each protester and wish the lazy, fat Americans knew how if we do not stand against government Coruption and down right Constutional violations by our on Administration agencies we could be looking at something worse here because we have millions od rifles and wepons in personal control here that would be replacing rocks and burning bottles for defending our Constutional Rights In my oppinion!

    I am praying for my Ukraine friends and their lives they will have to live after their fight! I am with the Common Ukraine people!

    America is watching your suffering dear friends!

    God Bless You Dear Friends!

    An American Disabled Veteran!!!

    By: SCOTTAGUS
  3. January 24, 2014, 12:25 pm

    Methinks this may be a way of Russia trying to regain control of this area

    By: jgro
  4. January 24, 2014, 12:49 pm

    Yes. Russia bankrolled the party of the current president, and destabilized the Ukraine during the earlier, west-friendly, government — mostly by raising price and/or stopping delivery of gas and oil, but also through direct covert operations.
    The treaties the Ukrainians are protesting would effectively make Ukraine a dependency or vassal state of Russia.

    By: Wilf Tarquin
  5. January 25, 2014, 7:43 am

    jgro, no doubt about that is the fuel that has caused the fire that started this, and a corrupt government that refuses to listen to the population the government is suppost to work for. The government and their cronnies seen to love their coruption more than their oaths to the People's Constutional Rights!

    Putin is licking his chops to put Ukraine back under Runnian Rule!

    The whole world knows this!!!

    America is watching your suffering dear friends!

    God Bless You Dear Friends!

    An American Disabled Veteran!!!

    By: SCOTTAGUS
  6. January 25, 2014, 7:55 am

    jgro, no doubt about that is the fuel that has caused the fire that started this, and a corrupt government that refuses to listen to the population the government is suppost to work for. The government and their cronnies seen to love their coruption more than their oaths to the People's Constutional Rights!

    By: SCOTTAGUS

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