About 100 people have been killed and 500 more injured in Ukraine since Thursday morning, according to the head of the protesters’ medical service. (Other estimates from the ground in Kiev put the number at 60–70.)
Truce? What truce? Warning: This video of anti-government demonstrators being shot at with live rounds is graphic, and heartbreaking:
What started out as once-voiceless Ukrainians protesting President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision in November 2013 to scrap a landmark deal with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia has evolved into several months of intense subzero street skirmishes, with patches of bloody clashes between demonstrators and state police. Now, the whole world is watching what is unfolding in Kiev. More than 125 people have been killed over the past 48 hours. The Interior Ministry says 67 police officers have been “captured” by protesters, according to the AP.
READ MORE ABOUT UKRAINE:
• Violence in Ukraine Creates Deepening Clash Between East and West
• Death Toll Rises In Ukraine Crisis As Clashes Shatter Truce
• I Am a Ukrainian: What They’re Fighting For, and Dying For, In Kiev
Radio Svoboda, the Russian service of Radio Free Europe, uploaded this video of government snipers taking aim at the protesters:
The White House released a scathing statement, via Jay Carney:
[banner photo via AP/Efrem Lukatsky]
We are outraged by the images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic weapons on their own people. We urge President Yanukovych to immediately withdraw his security forces from downtown Kyiv and to respect the right of peaceful protest, and we urge protesters to express themselves peacefully. We urge the Ukrainian military not to get involved in a conflict that can and should be resolved by political means. The use of force will not resolve the crisis — clear steps must be taken to stop the violence and initiate meaningful dialogue that reduces tension and addresses the grievances of the Ukrainian people.
The United States will work with our European allies to hold those responsible for violence accountable and to help the Ukrainian people get a unified and independent Ukraine back on the path to a better future.