The death toll from today’s fresh clashes between protesters and government police in Ukraine’s capital city has risen to nine. Seven citizens and two policemen have died in new battles to take the parliament building.
As protesters marched on parliament the police began to fire rubber bullets and stun grenades. The protesters were angered after opposition proposals to put limits on presidential authority were blocked.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton expressed her concern, saying that said she was “deeply worried” by the events of today. Ashton urged Ukrainian parliament members to act quickly in and to “address the root causes”.
A report from the BBC says that Russia blamed the upsurge in violence on “connivance by Western politicians and European structures” and their refusal to consider the “aggressive actions” of radical factions within the protest movement.
Security forces set a deadline for the fighting to end but the deadline passed with no further action from police. There is a growing movement across the country to force a return to the constitution of 2004 which limited presidential authority.