"WATCH: Protesters And Riot Police Clash In Ukraine, Leaving At Least 9 Dead"
Riot police are currently advancing on the protesters camped out in Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) in Kyiv, the latest development in the violent struggle between government and demonstrators in Ukraine that has so far left nearly a dozen dead.
The protests have been ongoing since early November when Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych seeming to turn his back on the European Union, forgoing a series of treaties that would have opened Ukraine to E.U. markets and adopted more than three hundred E.U. laws as their own. The so-called EuroMaidan protests swelled to more than 350,000 Ukrainians gathered in the streets, despite — or perhaps because of — the brutal crackdown ordered to suppress the movement. After a few weeks and the intervention of Russia in the form of a $15 billion bailout, however, the protests appeared to be dying down. They came roaring back, however, after the passage of a series of draconian laws curtailing freedom to assemble and quash dissent.
Demonstrators had earlier this week abandoned their posts in Kyiv’s City Hall — which they had occupied for nearly three months — as part of the deal struck with the government to provide amnesty to those who had taken part in the protests and the revocation of the anti-protest laws. Days later, however, the scene stands as it is currently unfolding, with riot police numbering in the hundreds advancing on the square with water cannons blasting at the barricades. In response, demonstrators continue to launch Molotov cocktails at the police formations and shine bright lasers at the guardsmen’s faces in an attempt to blind them as the Ukrainian national anthem waves. The Ukranian government earlier on Tuesday confirmed that at least seven protesters and two police officers have died in Tuesday’s fighting.
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