Update: Truce in Ukraine Falls Apart, Reports of Sniper Fire

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 19 2014 8:58 PM

Update: Truce in Ukraine Falls Apart, Reports of Sniper Fire

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych walks through the presidential lounge to take his seat at the opening ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

Photo by David Goldman - Pool/Getty Images

Update, February 20, 7:20 a.m.: Renewed fighting Thursday morning between protesters and police in Ukraine destroyed the tentative peace agreement reached between the government and opposition leaders late last night. Government snipers were reported to be shooting at protesters, according to the AP:

An Associated Press reporter saw 21 bodies Thursday laid out on the edge of the sprawling protest encampment in central Kiev. In addition, one policeman was killed and 28 suffered gunshot wounds Thursday, Interior Ministry spokesman Serhiy Burlakov told the AP. Government snipers were seen shooting at some protesters in Kiev, according to an AP cameraman and a protester.

The continued fighting brings the week's death toll to at least 50. Radio Free Europe's Ukrainian service has posted this video of sniper fire.

Original story, February 19, 9:00 p.m.: After two days of bloody clashes between protesters and anti-riot police, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych reached a truce with opposition leaders late on Wednesday night. Fires are still burning in Kiev’s Independence Square but violence has stopped, reports the BBC

No details have been released on the latest agreement, but a statement released on the presidential website says leaders will “start negotiations aimed at stopping the bloodshed, stabilizing the situation in the country and achieving social peace.”

Earlier today President Obama as well as European leaders spoke out against the violence and raised the prospect of imposing sanctions on Ukraine. On Thursday foreign ministers from Germany, France and Poland will meet with leaders from both sides in Ukraine before an emergency meeting in Brussels to determine further action.


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