Thursday, February 20, 2014

US-backed Ukrainian protesters shoot at media

February 20, 2014

Independence Square in Kiev February 20, 2014. (Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko)
The battle for Kiev’s Independence Square has reignited as rioters clash with security forces amid sniper fire. Dozens more have been injured in the escalating violence with reports of more civilian casualties.

Rioters have reached the Rada building (the country’s parliament), while the police have been pushed back into Mariinsky park nearby. An emergency evacuation has been declared and parliament members and employees are leaving the building.

Protesters hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at the police on Thursday morning as violence broke out once again in spite of the day of mourning that had been declared as a mark of respect for the 35 people who have died in the unrest. Ambulances have been sent to Maidan and video footage shows several people carried away on stretchers. Police are throwing tear gas grenades at protesters, according to Unian news agency.

Protesters pushed security forces off Independence Square and seized Oktyabrsky Palace – a major concert hall in the Ukrainian capital – and Hotel Ukraine. Gunfire can be heard throughout the Ukrainian capital.
Furthermore, a dozen police officers have reportedly been captured by demonstrators on Independence Square.

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