Anti-government protesters tossed firebombs and advanced on police lines Thursday in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. Police pushed back and snipers fired, leaving scores of people dead and hundreds wounded.
Thursday was the deadliest day yet at the sprawling protest camp on Kiev’s Independence Square, also called the Maidan. Snipers were seen shooting at protesters there – and video footage showed at least one sniper wearing a Ukraine riot police uniform.
Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition protesters who are demanding his resignation are locked in an epic battle over the identity of Ukraine, a nation of 46 million that has divided loyalties between Russia and the West. Parts of the country – mostly in its western cities – are in open revolt against Yanukovych’s central government, while many in eastern Ukraine back the president and favor strong ties with Russia, their former Soviet ruler.
At least 101 people have died this week in the clashes in Kiev, according to protesters, a sharp reversal in three months of mostly peaceful protests. Now neither side appears willing to compromise or in control of the streets.
Here is a gallery of images from today’s violence.
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