Violence & Political Unrest Continues to Erupt in Ukraine

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 An anti-government protester stands amid burning tires to throw a Molotov cocktail toward police on Independence Square on February 19, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine.
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In Ukraine, violence and political unrest continue. For days now, live video from the Maidan, or Kiev's Independence Square, has been streaming in real time, giving people around the world a first-hand glimpse at the scope and scale of the protests—leaving virtually nothing hidden in the chaos.

Public Radio Ukraine reporter Andriy Kulykov is one of the voices those following the story from abroad may have heard this week. His podcasts have provided play-by-play, moment-by-moment narration of events unfolding in the heart of Kiev.

The European Union agreed on Thursday to move forward with sanctions against those in Ukraine responsible for the violence, including travel bans and the freezing of assets. 

Serhii Plokhy is a professor of history and director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard. His new book, “The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union” is out in May. He explains what's happening now and how it's different from past conflicts. 

Protesters advance towards new positions in Kiev on February 20, 2014.
Protesters advance towards new positions in Kiev on February 20, 2014.

Protesters advance towards new positions in Kiev on February 20, 2014. Armed protesters stormed police barricades in Kiev on Thursday in renewed violence that killed at least 26 people and shattered an hours-old truce as EU envoys held crisis talks with Ukraine's embattled president. Bodies of anti-government demonstrators lay amid smoldering debris after masked protesters hurling Molotov cocktails and stones forced police from Kiev's iconic Independence Square -- the epicenter of the ex-Soviet country's three-month-old crisis.

( LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP )

This combination of pictures shows Independence Square in Kiev on April 22, 2009 during a social movement called 'Smile Ukraine! Smile overcomes a crisis!' organized by students (top) and the same square pictured on February 20, 2014, three months after a political crisis erupted leaving around 60 dead.

( SERGEI SUPINSKY,BULENT KILIC/AFP )

Anti-government protesters, continue to their clash with police in Independence square, despite a truce agreed between the Ukrainian president and opposition leaders on February 20, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. After several weeks of calm, violence has again flared between police and anti-government protesters, who are calling for the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych over corruption and an abandoned trade agreement with the European Union.

( Jeff J Mitchell )

Berkut riot police shoot rubber bullets toward anti-government protesters on Independence Square on February 19, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. After several weeks of calm, violence has again flared between anti-government protesters and police as the Ukrainian parliament is meant to take up the question of whether to revert to the country's 2004 constitution.

( Brendan Hoffman )

An anti-government protester waves a Ukrainian flag during clashes with police on Hrushevskoho Street near Dynamo stadium on January 25, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. After two months of primarily peaceful anti-government protests in the city center, new laws meant to end the protest movement have sparked violent clashes in recent days.

( Brendan Hoffman )

An anti-government protester throws a Molotov cocktail during clashes with police on Hrushevskoho Street near Dynamo stadium on January 25, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. After two months of primarily peaceful anti-government protests in the city center, new laws meant to end the protest movement have sparked violent clashes in recent days.

( Brendan Hoffman )

An anti-government protester stays behind a barricade on February 21, 2014 in Kiev. Armed protesters stormed police barricades in Kiev on Thursday in renewed violence that killed at least 26 people and shattered an hours-old truce as EU envoys held crisis talks with Ukraine's embattled president. Bodies of anti-government demonstrators lay amid smouldering debris after masked protesters hurling Molotov cocktails and stones forced police from Kiev's iconic Independence Square -- the epicentre of the ex-Soviet country's three-month-old crisis.

( BULENT KILIC/AFP )

An anti-government demonstrator builds a barricade with burning tires on February 21, 2014 at the Independent square in Kiev. Armed protesters stormed police barricades in Kiev on Thursday in renewed violence that killed at least 26 people and shattered an hours-old truce as EU envoys held crisis talks with Ukraine's embattled president. Bodies of anti-government demonstrators lay amid smouldering debris after masked protesters hurling Molotov cocktails and stones forced police from Kiev's iconic Independence Square -- the epicentre of the ex-Soviet country's three-month-old crisis.

( BULENT KILIC/AFP )

Prayers are held for victims who have died during anti-government protesters,clashed with police in Independence square, despite a truce agreed between the Ukrainian president and opposition leaders on February 20, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. After several weeks of calm, violence has again flared between police and anti-government protesters, who are calling to oust President Viktor Yanukovych over corruption and an abandoned trade agreement with the European Union.

( Jeff J Mitchell )

Protesters catch fire as they stand behind burning barricades during clashes with police on February 20, 2014 in Kiev. Ukraine's embattled leader announced a 'truce' with the opposition as he prepared to get grilled by visiting EU diplomats over clashes that killed 26 and left the government facing diplomatic isolation. The shocking scale of the violence three months into the crisis brought expressions of grave concern from the West and condemnation of an 'attempted coup' by the Kremlin.

( BULENT KILIC/AFP )

Anti-government protesters carry the injured during continued clashes with police in Independence square, despite a truce agreed between the Ukrainian president and opposition leaders on February 20, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. After several weeks of calm, violence has again flared between police and anti-government protesters, who are calling to oust President Viktor Yanukovych over corruption and an abandoned trade agreement with the European Union.

( Jeff J Mitchell )

Police troops leave their position around the Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev on February 21, 2014. Ukraine's deputy army chief has resigned in protest over government attempts to involve the army to put down unrest rocking the country, after Kiev erupted in unprecedented deadly violence. 'Today the army is being involved in the civil conflict, which could lead to the mass deaths of civilians and soldiers,' General Yuri Dumanski, deputy head of the army's general staff, told Channel 5 television in comments broadcast Friday.

( GENYA SAVILOV/AFP )

An anti-government protester, his face blackened by the smoke of burning tires, pauses as the crowd sings the Ukrainian national anthem on January 24, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. After two months of primarily peaceful anti-government protests in the city center, new laws meant to end the protest movement have sparked violent clashes in recent days.

( Brendan Hoffman )

Riot police face anti-government protesters during clashes central Kiev on February 20, 2014. Ukraine's brittle truce shattered on February 20 in fierce clashes between baton-wielding protesters and riot police that claimed at least 27 lives just as EU envoys were holding crisis talks with the embattled president. Bodies of anti-government demonstrators lay amid smouldering debris after masked protesters hurling Molotov cocktails and stones forced gun-toting police from Kiev's iconic Independence Square -- the epicentre of the ex-Soviet country's three-month-old crisis.

( SERGEY GAPON/AFP )

Anti-government protester clash with the police on Independence Square in Kiev early on February 19, 2014. Protesters braced on February 19 for a fresh assault by riot police in central Kiev after a day of clashes left at least 25 people dead in the worst violence since the start of Ukraine's three-month political crisis. As dawn rose over Kiev's battered city center, protesters hurled paving stones and Molotov cocktails at lines of riot police that had pushed into the heart of the devastated protest camp on Independence Square.

( SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP )

Night falls as anti-government protesters rebuild barricades following continued clashes with police in Independence square, despite a truce agreed between the Ukrainian president and opposition leaders on February 20, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. After several weeks of calm, violence has again flared between police and anti-government protesters, who are calling to oust President Viktor Yanukovych over corruption and an abandoned trade agreement with the European Union.

( Jeff J Mitchell )

Anti-government protesters clash with the police on Independence Square in Kiev early on February 19, 2014. Protesters braced on February 19 for a fresh assault by riot police in central Kiev after a day of clashes left at least 25 people dead in the worst violence since the start of Ukraine's three-month political crisis. As dawn rose over Kiev's battered city centre, protesters hurled paving stones and Molotov cocktails at lines of riot police that had pushed into the heart of the devastated protest camp on Independence Square.

( SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP )

Protesters cheer while they managed to break police blockade on February 20, 2014 in Kiev. Hundreds of armed protesters charged police barricades Thursday on Kiev's central Independence Square, despite a truce called just hours earlier by the country's embattled president. Protesters pushed the police back about 200 metres and were in control of most of the square they had occupied at the start of Ukraine's three-month-old political crisis.

( LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP )

Protesters sing their national anthem at a barricade on February 21, 2014 at the Independent square in Kiev. Armed protesters stormed police barricades in Kiev on Thursday in renewed violence that killed at least 26 people and shattered an hours-old truce as EU envoys held crisis talks with Ukraine's embattled president. Bodies of anti-government demonstrators lay amid smouldering debris after masked protesters hurling Molotov cocktails and stones forced police from Kiev's iconic Independence Square -- the epicentre of the ex-Soviet country's three-month-old crisis.

( LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP )
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