Radical protesters break truce, open fire on police in Kiev
MOSCOW, February 21 (RAPSI) - Prosecutors have opened fire on police in down town Kiev, thus breaking the truce, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's press service announced reported on Friday.
According to the Ministry, the skirmish ensued at 10:15 local time. A statement posted on the Ministry's Facebook page Friday, elevated the fatalities resulting from the clashes to 80 people.
Unrest erupted around noon Tuesday as thousands of people marched on the parliament building, where a standoff was taking place over proposed constitutional reforms that the opposition said could provide a way out of the political crisis that is paralyzing the country. The violence that ensued lasted for hours and resulted in numerous deaths and hundreds of injuries.
Fighting between radical anti-government protesters and police has claimed at least 77 lives over three days. Opposition medics have put the estimate higher.
Opposition figures accuse security forces of firing on protesters, while the authorities maintain the increasingly well-armed and aggressive anti-government movement attempted to mount a violent seizure of power.
Mass protests initially erupted in late November after the government backed away from deals to deepen political and economic cooperation with the European Union and instead opted for closer ties with Russia.
Although at first discontent was focused on that about-face move on EU ties, protests have since taken on a more general anti-government quality, calling for the president’s ouster and early elections.