IN PHOTOS: Ukraine protests
KIEV, Ukraine – Fear. Chaos.
Ukraine's brittle truce was left in tatters on Thursday, February 20, by raging street battles between baton-wielding protesters and riot police Thursday that left dozens of people dead as the EU was meeting to consider sanctions.
Bodies of anti-government demonstrators lay amid smouldering debris after masked protesters hurling Molotov cocktails and stones forced gun-toting police from Kiev's Independence Square – the epicentre of the ex-Soviet country's three-month-old crisis.
More than 60 protestersdied from gunshot wounds, according to an opposition medic.
It was the bloodiest day since protests started against President Viktor Yanukovych in November, when he infuriated a large part of the population by ditching a pact promising closer ties with the EU in favor of staying in Russia's orbit.
November 6, 2013. A woman holds the EU flag during a meeting of Pro-Western opposition parties supporters at the European Square. Pro-West Ukrainians staged the biggest protest rally in Kiev since the 2004 Orange Revolution, demanding that the government sign a key pact with the EU. Photo by Genya Savilov/AFP
December 12, 2013. Protesters guard a barricade at the Independence Square. The opposition called Thursday for a mass weekend rally, as pro-European demonstrators sought to increase the pressure on President Viktor Yanukovych following a failed police raid. "We invite everyone to come to our rally at midday on Sunday," said opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk, as protestors marked three weeks of demonstrations over the government's decision to reject a historic EU deal. Photo by Viktor Drachev
December 15, 2013. At least 200,000 opposition supporters gather at a mass rally on Independence Square in a fresh show of force against President Viktor Yanukovych after his failure to sign a key EU agreement. Photo by Yuriy Kirnichny/AFP
JANUARY 22, 2014. Riot police officers gather as they clash with protestors in the center of Kiev. Ukrainian police today stormed protesters' barricades as violent clashes erupted and activists said that one person had been shot dead by the security forces. Total of two activists shot dead during clashing. The move by police increased tensions to a new peak after two months of protests. Photo by Anatolii Boiko/AFP
JANUARY 23, 2014. A protester wearing a gas mask stands amid burnt tyres and garbage following clashes between pro-EU demonstrators and riot police. Ukraine's opposition agreed to observe an eight-hour truce in clashes with security forces after five days of deadly fighting but threatened to go on the attack if the government failed to agree concessions. Opposition leader and world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko brokered the truce after talks with radical protesters and armoured security forces on the frontline of the clashes, saying the ceasefire should hold while he conducts talks with President Viktor Yanukovych. Photo by Genya Savilov/AFP
January 25, 2014. Violence broke out as anti-government protesters clash with the police again, with molotov cocktails flying in one direction and stun grenades in the other, but both sides stuck to their positions. Photo by Sergei Supinsky/AFP
February 5, 2014. Anti-government protesters sleep near a barricade. The parliament tried again that day to agree on curbing the presidency's powers, while the EU's foreign policy chief meets embattled President Viktor Yanukovych to press for a resolution of the political crisis. The crisis has sparked tensions between the West, which is considering sanctions against Ukrainian officials, and Russia, which has accused the EU and US of interference in the former Soviet republic. Photo by Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP
February 18, 2014. A general view of Independence Square when Ukrainian riot police launched a massive assault on thousands of anti-government protesters, shattering hopes of a peaceful end to a crisis. Police moved against demonstrators with water cannons and rubber bullets after the Interior Ministry and the Ukrainian Security Service issued an ultimatum until 6 pm local time (1600 GMT), saying that they would take 'all legal measures to restore order'. Photo by Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA
February 20, 2014. Anti-government protesters walk on a puddle of blood left by a wounded demonstrator during clashes with the police. Armed protesters stormed police barricades in renewed violence that killed at least 60 people and shattered an hours-old truce as EU envoys held crisis talks with Ukraine's embattled president. Photo by Sergei Supinsky/AFP
February 20, 2014. A demonstrator stands on a balcony overlooking Independence square. Bodies of anti-government demonstrators lay amid smouldering debris after masked protesters hurling Molotov cocktails and stones forced police from Independence Square. Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP
February 20, 2014. Protesters catch fire as they stand behind burning barricades during clashes with police. 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. Photo by AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC
February 20, 2014. A protester stands behind barricades during clashes with police that left at least 60 dead. The bodies of eight demonstrators were lying outside Kiev's main post office on Independence Square, an AFP reporter said. The bodies of 17 other demonstrators with apparent gunshot wounds were also seen in the vicinity of two hotels on opposite sides of the protest encampment. Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP
– with reports from Agence France-Presse, Rappler.com