Earlier today, protesters and the Ukrainian regime reached a fragile truce, so that negotiations could take place, but the truce seems to have gone up in flames. Protesters, wary that police would use the truce to move in on their positions and not allow them back, started tossing Molotov cocktails and more at the police, who responded with live fire.
Early estimates, admittedly from a medic working with the protesters, has up to 100 dead and many more wounded. According to the AP:
Video footage on Ukrainian television showed shocking scenes Thursday of protesters being cut down by gunfire, lying on the pavement as comrades rushed to their aid. Trying to protect themselves with shields, teams of protesters carried bodies away on sheets of plastic or planks of wood.
One of the wounded, volunteer medic Olesya Zhukovskaya, sent out a brief Twitter message — “I’m dying” — after being shot in the neck.
Protesters are believed to have somehow captured at least 67 police officers, who were seen being led by their captors to occupied city hall, where they are being held.
With today’s heavy tolls, at least 101 people have been killed so far this week in the country of 46 million. Today, the Western region of Lviv, situated closest to Europe, declared independence from Ukraine and its President Victor Yanukovich.
For those just noticing the escalating violence in the Eastern European country of Ukraine, protesters began in earnest several weeks ago, when Yanukovich spurned a $50 billion trade deal with the European Union, and instead renewed a trace pact with the country’s historic patron, Russia. Many in Ukraine, especially in Western regions, feel their country should integrate with the European Union and the West in General, while others remain loyal to Russia and President Yanukovich.
As always, this situation is developing extremely quickly, so stay tuned.