Ukraine: Fires burn after day of violence in Kyiv

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Ukraine: Fires burn after day of violence in Kyiv

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Fires burned in central Kyiv as a tense standoff between protesters and police continued throughout the night.

The area near parliament looked like a battlefield after a day of violence which has shocked many Ukrainians.

Tens of thousands are said to have filled Independence Square in the hope that their sheer numbers will deter further police action.

Others are preparing for the worst,but most protesters appear resolute – what began in anger at President Yanukovych’s turn away from Europe has become a call for him to quit after introducing new anti-protest laws.

“Our leader just seized all the power, and look what’s going on here, people are trying to somehow return the legitimacy back to our country,” said one protester.

With Ukrainians divided over the protests some people are there due to humanitarian concerns such as doctors who have volunteered to work in make shift hospitals.

After two months of unrest police stormed the protester’s barricades on Wednesday enforcing the new legislation.

At least five people were killed, two from gunshot wounds although the government says the police do not have live ammunition. Another 300 or so were injured. It is a toll which looks set to rise.