3 Dead as Ukraine Cops Storm Barricades

Medics say 2 protesters were shot dead, 1 fell
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 22, 2014 12:30 AM CST
An Orthodox priest prays in front police officers as they block a street after clashes in central Kiev today.   (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
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(Newser) – Three protesters have died in clashes with police in the Ukrainian capital today, according to a medic for the protesters, in a development that will likely escalate the country's two-month-long political crisis. One activist died in the hospital after falling from a high altitude at the site of the clashes, while the other two died of bullet wounds near the barricades where police and protesters have confronted each other for three days, the medic says, but he would not specify whether they were rubber or real bullets.

Police began dismantling barricades near a government district in Kiev this morning but protesters soon pushed them back to their original positions. Ukraine's political crisis reached a new phase last week after President Viktor Yanukovych pushed through harsh anti-protest legislation, prompting street battles in which protesters threw rocks and fire bombs and police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. The government has tried—and failed—to scare off protesters with text message warnings. (Read more Ukraine stories.)

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