The months-long standoff between Ukraine's
strongarm pro-Russian president and opposition protesters in the
streets of Kiev, the capital, has turned grisly in recent hours, with
nine deaths reported in clashes between police and the demonstrators.
Update, 2:17 p.m. EST:
The most recent round of intense violence apparently began when
government authorities tried and failed spectacularly to regain control
of Kiev's main square from the demonstrators who have camped there since late last year. Via the New York Times:
Mayhem gripped the center of the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday evening
as riot police officers tried to drive two armored personnel carriers
through stone-reinforced barriers in Independence Square, the focal
point of more than two months of protests against President Viktor F.
Pelted by rocks and fireworks, the vehicles became
stuck in the massive barricades outside the Khreschatyk Hotel and burst
into flames, apparently trapping the security officers inside, prompting
desperate rescue efforts from their colleagues.
All hell subsequently broke loose. This Reuters video captures some of the crazy: