The photos bursting out of Ukraine’s capital, Kiev are incredible. These violent clashes started popping off after Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovych refused to step down. It’s been reported that anti-government demonstrators have taken over several government buildings. In Ivano-Frankivsk 1,500 protestors have barricaded themselves in a regional government building, demanding the local governor’s resignation. The Kiev’s city hall has been occupied by protestors for the past two months. Officials say two police officers are being held hostage, but the demonstrators deny such claim.
Yanukovych offered some concessions, including the reshuffling of his government and amnesty for arrested protestors, but the riots continue. The demonstrators’ rage is partly fueled by Yanukovych aligning himself with Russia and opting out of an association agreement with the European Union. Protestors have been reportedly hurling fire bombs and rocks at police. In response, law enforcement have been using stun-grenades, rubber bullets and tear gas. According to the The Guardian, there’s footage of riot-police taking “trophy pictures” with an apprehended protestor, an attempt to humiliate the demonstrator after stripping him naked.
The most recent casualty in this historical uprising was Mikhail Zhiznevsky, a 25 year-old protestor killed by police last Wednesday in Kiev near Independence Square. His coffin was carried through out the city by dozens of outraged mourners and demonstrators. According the Globe and Mail, as they paraded Zhinevsky’s body through the streets they chanted “gangsters out,” “gestapo,” “revenge,” and “murderers.”