BATTLE OF KIEV: Police Snipers Kill 70 Protesters

KIEV POST: At least two more bodies of protesters were taken to Ukraine Hotel on Kyiv’s Independence Square, for a total of 12 dead at this location. The additional deaths bring to at least 37 73 the number of protesters killed today, most from gunshot wounds by police near clashes this morning near October Palace. MORE

NEW YORK TIMES: Ukraine’s descent into a spiral of violence accelerated on Thursday as protesters and riot police officers used firearms in a clash initiated by the opposition and apparently intended to reclaim areas of Independence Square, the symbolic central plaza in the capital that had been retaken by police two days before. The fighting shattered a truce declared just hours earlier. Just after dawn, young men in ski masks opened a breach in their barricade near a stage on the square, ran across a hundred yards of smoldering debris and attacked riot police officers who were firing at them with shotguns. Protesters pushed back the police in a continual racket of gunshots and by around 10 a.m. had recaptured the entire square, but at the cost of creating a scene of mayhem. The fighting left bodies lined up on a sidewalk, makeshift clinics crammed with the bloody wounded, and sirens and gunfire ringing through the center of the city. The demonstrators captured at least several dozen policemen, whom they marched, dazed and bloodied, toward the center of the square through a crowd of men who heckled and shoved them. “There will be many dead today,” Anatoly Volk, 38, one of the demonstrators, said. He was watching stretchers carry dead and wounded men down a stairway slick with mud near the Hotel Ukraina. MORE

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