Crowd swells on Hrushevskoho Street as standoff with police intensifies; three deaths reported, two from gunshot wounds

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Jan. 22, 2014 12:20
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Protesters clash with the police in the center of Kyiv on Jan. 22. Ukrainian police on Wednesday stormed protesters' barricades in Kiev as violent clashes erupted, leaving two protesters dead from gunshot wounds. The move by police increased tensions to a new peak after two months of protests over President Viktor Yanukovych's failure to sign a deal for closer ties with the European Union.
Photo by AFP

A crowd chanting "Murderers!" and "Glory to Ukraine" briefly retreated this morning after a police assault on their positions left two men dead from gunshot wounds. A third victim, also a protester, reportedly died from injuries in a fall. 

While the general prosecutor confirmed the gunshot deaths, Kyiv police denied that officers fired on the protesters and the prosecutor said the circumstances of the deaths are under investigation.

The demonstrators quickly regrouped and renewed parts of barricades torn down by officers and returned to their original standoff point on Hrushevskoho Street after getting pushed back to European Square, some 500 meters away.

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