At Least 13 Dead, Dozens Injured As Ukraine Protests Turn Violent Again

Ukrainian security forces say they will use “harsh measures” against the opposition if their ultimatum is not met. Update: Police say six policemen and seven protesters have died. WARNING: Graphic content.

Updated 4:13 p.m. ET: Police said seven protesters and six police officers died, the AP reported.

Here’s a live feed of the raid on Independence Square:

Gas, gunshots, and the soot and stench of burning tires clogged downtown Kiev Tuesday as fresh clashes broke out between anti-government protesters and riot police.

Gleb Garanich / Reuters

The violence began mid-morning, when protesters attempting a “peace offensive” outside parliament broke through a cordon of police and started hurling projectiles, local media reported.

Gleb Garanich / Reuters

Opposition lawmakers had hoped to vote on measures restricting President Viktor Yanukovych’s power. Yanukovych is expected to name a new prime minister this week.

Pool / Reuters

Three protesters died in the clashes, the Ukrainska Pravda news site reported, citing a prominent medic. Seven more were “near death,” an opposition lawmaker wrote.

Via Twitter: @TarasKuzio

The Interfax news agency reported two more deaths late Tuesday afternoon.

Stringer / Reuters

BBC Ukraine found a protester’s headless corpse near parliament. An opposition activist account posted this photo, which has not been confirmed.

Via Twitter: @euromaidanpr

Protesters stormed and set fire to the office of the governing Party of Regions. The party claimed that a security guard died in the process.

Stringer / Reuters

Ukraine’s top two security officials accused opposition leaders of organizing the violence and issued an ultimatum to protesters to stop the violence by 6 p.m. local time. “If the riot continues, we will be forced to resort to harsh measures,” they said.

Konstantin Chernichkin / Reuters

Police touting AK-47 assault rifles were seen patrolling the streets.

Via Twitter: @katerynakruk

Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said 37 policemen were injured in the clashes and that seven of them suffered gunshot wounds.

Stringer / Reuters

The violence came as the government and opposition appeared to near a compromise solution to Ukraine’s political crisis. Activists surrendered occupied government buildings Sunday to let an amnesty bill pass.

Via Twitter: @ChristopherJM

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said the violence was started by “radical forces… posing as peaceful protesters” and called on Western governments to condemn it.

Stringer / Reuters

Russia, which had just announced Monday that it would release a $2 billion loan it held up over concern at Yanukovych’s ability to quell the crisis, said the violence was a “direct result” of Western support for the opposition.

Konstantin Chernichkin / Reuters

By late afternoon, riot police had massed around Kiev’s Independence Square, which protesters have occupied since protests against Yanukovych broke out in early December.

Via Twitter: @maxseddon

As night fell, the camps were on fire and the barricades were being dismantled in Independence Square.

David Mdzinarishvili / Reuters

Riot police sprayed the protesters with water canons and tried to disperse the crowds with stun grenades. The nearly 20,000 demonstrators retaliated with rocks, bats and firebombs.

David Mdzinarishvili / Reuters

Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko urged the protesters to stand their ground. “We will not go anywhere from here,” said Klitschko to the crowd, speaking from a stage in Independence Square as fires burned around him.

David Mdzinarishvili / Reuters

“This is an island of freedom and we will defend it,” said Klitschko.

David Mdzinarishvili / Reuters

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