Clashes between police and anti-government protesters in Ukraine have resulted in 25 deaths and hundreds of injuries overnight.
From the BBC:
The new attempt to uproot the protest stronghold came as President Yanukovych blamed opposition leaders for the worst violence in months of unrest.
After failed overnight talks, he urged them to distance themselves from radical forces.
Activists say the violence has been stoked by the authorities.
Police launched their latest assault on Independence Square, also known as the Maidan, shortly after 04:00 local time (02:00 GMT). Several tents were set ablaze, and water cannon was later used.
A BBC correspondent said police had taken control of a corner of the square for the first time since December.
The protests began in late November, when President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a landmark association and trade deal with the EU in favour of closer ties with Russia.
There is no sign of the protests coming to an end and European governments are feeling uncomfortable because of Russian involvement on the issue. Last November president Yanukovych agreed with Russian calls to pull out of a planned trade agreement with the EU.
He instead agreed to accept a Kremlin bailout for the struggling economy.Image: AFP
Although there are hundreds of ‘walking wounded’, dozens of the protesters have been seriously injured, and the death toll is expected to rise further from last nights violence. Nine police officers and a journalist are amongst the dead.
Thousands of police have been brought in to quell the riots. Sky news reports:
“Protesters have spent the night here trying to fight the police back. They are outnumbered. They are out-equipped. They are repelling stun grenades and rubber bullets with rocks, shields and fireworks.
But they are determined to stay here to try and defend this ground, to defend this square and what it has come to stand for.”
Joe Biden has urged the government to set up more talks with the protesters after the latest round failed just a couple of hours ago. Vladimir Putin, who’s offer of assistance was accepted, has not commented on the rising death toll.
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Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!