Three months after the first anti-government protests in Ukraine, the country has experienced its deadliest day of political violence, with nine people dying in clashes between demonstrators and police. The beating heart of the pro-Europe, anti-Russia ‘Euromaidan’ movement is in Kiev’s Independence Square (in Ukrainian, Maidan Nezalezhnosti), and the square is currently in flames after a day of police firing rubber bullets at protesters wielding molotov cocktails and fireworks. Earlier on Tuesday, opposition activists marched on parliament, while setting fire to government buildings and security vehicles. All this comes a day after Russia, which has urged Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to crush the protests, announced that it would be sending Ukraine $2 billion in aid as a lifeline for its tanking economy.
Now, as night falls in the capital, the independent Ukrainian station Espreso TV is broadcasting a live feed of the surreal scene in Independence Square—a feed punctuated by intermittent explosions and impassioned speeches.
The whole thing is bracing to behold.
Read more. [Image: Reuters/Maks Levin]