Kiev Truce Shattered, Dozens Killed

Last night, Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych, working with opposition leaders in the months-long protest, declared a truce, hoping to begin negotiations. Within hours, each side was accusing the other of betraying the agreement, and some of the most-violent clashes to date took place, leaving dozens of protesters lying dead in Kiev's Independence Square, and hundreds more injured in nearby aid centers and hospitals. With the failure of these negotiations, and the escalating violence, fears are growing that President Yanukovych will declare a state of emergency, bringing military enforcement into the situation. The photos here are from the past 24 hours in Kiev.
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1. A priest holds a cross and shield during clashes between anti-government protesters and riot police in central Kiev, Ukraine, on February 20, 2014. Ukraine's brittle truce shattered on February 20 in fierce clashes between baton-wielding protesters and riot police that claimed dozens of lives just as EU envoys were holding crisis talks with the embattled president. Bodies of anti-government demonstrators lay amid smouldering debris after masked protesters hurling Molotov cocktails and stones forced gun-toting police from Kiev's iconic Independence Square.




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2. Anti-government protesters continue to clash with police in Independence square, despite a truce agreed between the Ukrainian president and opposition leaders on February 20, 2014 in Kiev.




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3. This picture grabbed on AFP TV images shows government soldiers firing onto demonstrators in Kiev, on February 20, 2014.




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4. An anti-government protester shouts for help (right) for an injured man during clashes with riot police in the Independence Square in Kiev, on February 20, 2014.




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5. Protesters advance towards new positions in Kiev, on February 20, 2014.




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6. Anti-government protesters carry injured men on stretchers in Independence Square in Kiev, on February 20, 2014. Ukrainian anti-government protesters on Thursday seized back control of Kiev's Independence Square, television pictures showed, after fresh clashes broke out there with riot police.




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7. A dead body lies on the ground after violence erupted in Independence Square in Kiev, on February 20, 2014.




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8. Activists pay respects to protesters killed in clashes with police, in Kiev's Independence Square, on February 20, 2014. Fierce clashes between police and protesters, some including gunfire, shattered a brief truce in Ukraine's besieged capital Thursday, killing numerous people.




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9. A satellite view of central Kiev, imaged by SkySat-1 on February 18, 2014 at 11:10 a.m. local time. Independence Square is at center-left. Black smoke can be seen at center, coming from the epicenter of rioting, near the Ukraine Government House.




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10. Protesters walk near a burning bus on Institutskaya Street, close to Independence Square in Kiev, on February 20, 2014.




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11. Protesters catch fire as they stand behind burning barricades during clashes with police, on February 20, 2014 in Kiev.




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12. An anti-government protester stands amid burning tires to throw a Molotov cocktail toward police in Kiev's Independence Square, on February 19, 2014.




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13. An anti-government protester sits near the bodies of two demonstrators killed by a sniper during clashes with the police in the center of Kiev, on February 20, 2014.




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14. Medics tend to a gravely wounded anti-government protester in the lobby of the Hotel Ukraine, which has been converted to a medical clinic and makeshift morgue, on February 20, 2014.




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15. Protesters stand behind burning barricades during a face-off against police on February 20, 2014 on Independence Square in Kiev.




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16. An anti-government protester holds a firearm as he mans a barricade on the outskirts of Independence Square in Kiev, on February 20, 2014.




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17. Two Orthodox priests pray during a mass for the dead, after violence erupted in Independence Square, on February 20, 2014.




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18. People look at a bullet hole in victim's vest who was killed during a clash between riot police and protesters in Kiev's Independence Square, on February 20, 2014.




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19. Anti-government protesters walk on a puddle of blood left by a wounded demonstrator during clashes with the police in the center of Kiev, on February 20, 2014.




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20. Anti-government protesters prepare to push forward during continued clashes with police in Independence square, on February 20, 2014.




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21. Anti-government protesters carry bags filled with stones to build barricades around Independence Square, on February 20, 2014.




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22. Anti-government protesters prepare Molotov cocktails during clashes with riot police in Independence Square in Kiev, on February 20, 2014.




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23. Ukrainian Cossacks play drums on Kiev's Independence Square, calling on people to protest on February 20, 2014.




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24. A general view of Independence square, during the face-off against heavily-armed police in Kiev, on February 20, 2014.




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25. A high-ranking police officer, left, and a protester representative hold talks near the Cabinet of Ministers in Kiev, on February 20, 2014.




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26. An anti-government protester takes pictures as he stands behind burning barricades in Kiev's Independence Square, on February 19, 2014.




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27. A hall of the October Palace theatre, during clashes between anti-government protesters and riot police in Kiev, on February 20, 2014.




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28. A protestor stands near barricades during clashes with riot police in central Kiev, on February 20, 2014.




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29. Anti-government protesters shelter behind shields during clashes with police in the center of Kiev, on February 20, 2014.




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30. Protesters escort a "detained" policeman near Independence square in Kiev, on February 20, 2014. Hundreds of armed protesters charged police barricades Thursday on Kiev's central Independence Square, despite a truce called just hours earlier by the country's embattled president. Protesters pushed the police back about 200 metres and were in control of most of the square they had occupied at the start of Ukraine's three-month-old political crisis.




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31. Anti-government protesters continue to clash with police in Independence square, despite a truce agreed between the Ukrainian president and opposition leaders on February 20, 2014 in Kiev.




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32. A priest stands in the lobby of the hotel Ukraine near bodies of anti-government protesters killed during clashes with riot police in Kiev, on February 20, 2014.




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33. An anti-government protester reels barbed wire around a barricade during clashes with riot police in Kiev, on February 20, 2014.




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34. An anti-government protester aims a gun in the direction of suspected sniper fire near the Hotel Ukraine, on February 20, 2014.




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35. Anti-government protesters let off fireworks during demonstrations in Independence Square late on February 19, 2014 in Kiev.




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36. This combination of pictures shows Independence Square in Kiev on April 22, 2009 (left) during a social movement called "Smile Ukraine! Smile overcomes a crisis!", and the same square pictured on February 20, 2014 (right), three months after a political crisis erupted leaving around dozens dead.




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37. Flowers are laid on a Ukrainian flag covering body of a killed anti-government protester, in central Kiev, on February 20, 2014. A brief truce in Ukraine's embattled capital failed Thursday, spiraling into fierce clashes between police and anti-government protesters.