Protesters Are Dying in the Streets of Kiev, Ukraine
The anti-government demonstrations in Kiev have taken a deadly turn, as the news on Wednesday was dominated by fights between protesters and riot police in the gas and smoke-strewn streets of the Ukrainian capital. In the morning, the BBC posted a video of a man lying in the snow. By nightfall, four other deaths had been reported. Ironically, news of the casualties—the first in a period of civil unrest that began two months ago—came on Ukraine’s Day of National Unity.
“I think this is the start of a civil war,” Yaroslav Hrytsak, a well-known historian and public intellectual, said Wednesday night on Ukrainian public radio. Street battles continued in the area around Kiev’s Hrushevskoho Street, as protesters armed with Molotov cocktails faced off with riot police. As the two sides struggled, some protesters constructed a trebuchet that looked like it would be more at home in a medieval siege than a protest in 2014 aimed at steering an ostensibly democratic country toward the European Union.