[PHOTOS] Ukraine Crisis: Everything You Should Know About The Escalating Violence There

Two months after the protests first began, in part over Yanukovych's decision to reject a deal for greater integration with Europe, they have again escalated.


Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich Surfaces To Say He Is 'Still The President'

Ukraine's Viktor Yanukovich said on Thursday he was still the legitimate president of his country and that people in its southeastern and southern regions would never accept the "lawlessness" brought by leaders chosen by a mob.


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Russian news agencies quoted a statement by Yanukovich as saying he had asked Moscow to guarantee his personal safety. The statement could not be independently verified and it was not clear where Yanukovich was, although some media groups have suggested he is in Moscow after fleeing Ukraine, where he was toppled by opposition forces at the weekend.


"I still consider myself to be the legal head of the Ukrainian state," said he said in a statement sent to Russian news agencies. "I am compelled to ask the Russian Federation to ensure my personal security from the actions of extremists."


The comments from Oleksander Turchinov, the acting president, came as militiamen carrying automatic weapons raised the Russian flag over Crimea's regional parliament buildings.


Supporters clash outside the parliament building in the Crimean capital, Simferopol

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The move, which will raise fears of the country splitting into pro-Eastern and pro-Western factions, follows a massive show of force from Russia near the Ukrainian border, including measures to tighten security at its Black Sea Fleet port that it rents from Ukraine in Sevastopol.


Bodies Litter The Streets As Kiev Plunges Into New Savagery With Death Toll Mounting To 75

Security forces fired on masses of antigovernment demonstrators in Kiev on Thursday in a drastic escalation of the three-month-old crisis that left dozens dead and Ukraine reeling from the most lethal day of violence since Soviet times.


Grim toll: Activists pay respects to protesters who were killed in clashes with police

Image via dailymail.co.uk

The shootings followed a quickly shattered truce, with enraged protesters parading dozens of captured police officers through Kiev’s central square. Despite a frenzy of East-West diplomacy and negotiations, there was little sign that tensions were easing.


The bodies of 20 civilians lay strewn on the ground after riot police were authorised to use live ammunition in place of rubber bullets. There were reports of snipers firing at protesters. The shocking video below shows snipers picking off protesters in Kiev:

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The sights of bullet-riddled bodies slumped amid smoldering debris, some of them shot in the head, and screaming medics carrying the dead and wounded to emergency clinics, including one in a hotel lobby, shocked the country and the world.


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The opposition said that at least 70 and as many as 100 people had been killed, while municipal authorities put the day’s death toll at 39.


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This week’s clashes are the most deadly since protests began peacefully three months ago when Yanukovych abandoned closer ties with Europe in favour of Russia. Ukraine is a nation of 46million, ethnically divided between Ukrainians who favour closer ties with Europe, and Russians who prefer links to Moscow.


A Anti-Government Protester Is Engulfed In Flames While Running From The Scene Outside Ukraine’s Parliament In Kiev

Thousands of angry anti-government protesters clashed with police in a new eruption of violence following new maneuvering by Russia and the European Union to gain influence over this former Soviet republic.

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Riot Police Clash With Anti-Government Protesters Outside Ukraine’s Parliament In Kiev

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GALLERY: Renewed fighting shatters truce in Ukraine

[PHOTOS] The Shocking Reality Of The Ongoing Crisis In Ukraine's Kiev That Has Killed 28 People So Far

Independence Square (aka Maidan) in central Kiev is that epicenter of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Protesters have been camped out since December, defending Maidan against Russian-backed riot police and security forces loyal to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.


Anti-government protesters protect themselves with shields during clashes with riot police in Kiev on Feb. 19, 2014.

Image via mshcdn.com

In a statement published early Thursday, the Ukrainian Health Ministry said 28 people have died and 287 have been hospitalized during the two days of street violence. Protesters, who have set up a medical care facility in a downtown cathedral, say the numbers are significantly higher.


Here's what Independence Square looked like in September 2009 as compared to Wednesday morning.

Image via imgur.com

Ukrainian police said Thursday that more than 20 officers have been wounded by gunfire in the capital. A statement from the Interior Ministry on Thursday said the gunfire appeared to be coming from the national music conservatory, which is on the edge of the downtown square housing an extensive protest tent camp.


The renewed clashes despite the declaration of truce follow days of violence, the most deadly since protests kicked off three months ago after Yanukovych shelved an association agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.


Below Are Some Of The Latest Photos From The Ground

After Goodwill Gesture From Protesters, Kiev Readies For Further Protest

Protesters occupying Kiev city hall said on Saturday they stood “ready” to vacate the premises, in a gesture of goodwill after authorities released all those detained in the anti-government unrest rocking the country.


Image via skynews.com.au

The “headquarters of the revolution” since the protest movement rocking Ukraine began more than two months ago, the building is highly symbolic and the last-minute concession comes ahead of a fresh, mass demonstration due on Sunday.


The protest on Kiev's central Independence Square, which kicks off at 1000 GMT (2100 AEDT) is the 11th since demonstrators first rose up against President Viktor Yanukovych in November when he rejected a key EU pact in favour of closer ties with Russia.


Young masked men guarding the entrance to the Lviv Region State Administration. They seized the offices of the governor, Oleh Salo, and do not let him enter.

Image via nyt.com

On Friday, authorities announced they had freed all 234 protesters detained in the movement, adding that charges against them would also be dropped if conditions of a recent amnesty law were met.


Yanukovych approved the law at the beginning of February after protests in Kiev turned deadly, shocking the country and prompting the shaken president to start negotiating with the opposition.


Ukraine Government Quits, Parliament Scraps Anti-Protests Law As Ukraine Rips Itself Apart

Ukraine's government resigned Tuesday and parliament scrapped anti-protest laws in major concessions to the opposition as Russian President Vladimir Putin warned against foreign meddling in the former Soviet state.


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Giving in to opposition pressure and protests that have spread far beyond Kiev, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said he was quitting to preserve the unity of the country.


Azarov will be replaced in an interim capacity by deputy prime minister Sergiy Arbuzov, a fellow loyalist of President Viktor Yanukovych, while other ministers will stay on until a new cabinet is named.


Protesters clad in improvised protective gear prepare for a clash with police in central Kiev.

Image via huffpost.com

It was not clear who would succeed Azarov as prime minister, although some analysts floated the idea that a pro-opposition tycoon, Petro Poroshenko, might step into the post.


World boxing champion and opposition leader Vitali Klitschko said the announcement of Azarov's and the government's resignation was "not victory but a step to victory".


A man walks past a banner reading "The holiday is coming. 2014" and depicting Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov (R) and President Viktor Yanukovych behind prison bars at an opposition protester camp on Independence Square in Kiev on January 28, 2014.

Image via kyivpost.com

Parliament also on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted to repeal the same contentious anti-protest laws it had approved just two weeks ago, a move that had re-ignited the crisis.


A Deepening Civil Uprising In Ukraine Turned Deadly on January 22, 2014, And This Embattled Capital Veered Toward Chaos, After At Least 3 Demonstrators Died During Clashes With The Police

The circumstances of their deaths were murky, but protesters said that the police had opened fire on them. A third man died after falling from an archway that demonstrators had climbed to hurl rocks and firebombs.


Riot police officers gathered as they clashed with protesters on Wednesday in the center of Kiev, Ukraine

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There were unconfirmed reports in the Ukrainian news media of four other fatalities, including two more by gunfire and two bodies apparently found on the outskirts of Kiev.


But Before We Get To The Recent Updates, Below Are Some Main Events Of Past 2 Months Of Ukraine Protests..

21 November 2013: Ukraine Announced It Will Not Sign A Deal Aimed At Strengthening Ties With The EU

Ukrainians stage a protest in Kiev on 26 November to demand the government signs the key EU pact.

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30 November 2013: Riot Police Detain Dozens Of Anti-Government Protesters In A Violent Crackdown In Kiev

Dozens of protesters were wounded in a clash with police in Kiev on November 30.

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17 December 2013: Russia Agrees To Buy $15bn Of Ukrainian Government Bonds And Slash The Price Of Gas It Sells To The Country

Russia's President Putin (right) met his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych at the Kremlin

Image via bbcimg.co.uk

22 January 2014: Two Protesters Die From Bullet Wounds During Clashes With Police In Kiev

Ukrainian Opposition Leaders Have Issued An Ultimatum To President Viktor Yanukovych, After The Country's Worst Clashes Since Independence In 1991

President Viktor Yanukovych met three opposition leaders to discuss the crisis

Image via bbcimg.co.uk

They have threatened to step up anti-government demonstrations in the capital Kiev unless the government calls snap elections.

Crisis talks are scheduled after clashes left a number of people dead and dozens of police and protesters injured.


In Response, Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych Has Offered The Position Of Prime Minister To An Opposition Leader, Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Arseniy Yatsenyuk (L) and Vitali Klitschko have been offered the positions of PM and deputy PM

Image via bbcimg.co.uk

The offer came after talks on Saturday with opposition leaders in a new effort to end the worsening unrest that has spread across the country.

Earlier, protesters in Kiev tried to occupy the energy ministry.


But The Ukraine’s Opposition Rejected Concessions From President Viktor Yanukovich, Saying Only His Resignation Would Satisfy Protesters

Protesters stand on a barricade during an anti-government protest in Kiev yesterday.

Image via irishtimes.com

Emboldened by protesters’ seizure of the agriculture ministry in Kiev and local administration buildings in six cities in western Ukraine, opposition leaders flatly rejected Mr Yanukovich’s proposed moves as a possible solution to the impasse.


Here Are Some Photos That Tell The Story Of Thursday's Pitched Battles, As Well As Its Quieter Moments, With Remarkable Force

An Ukrainian Woman Stands With A White Flag And An Icon In Front Of The Riot Police Line During A Temporary Truce

The Situation In Kiev Remained Tense On Saturday After Further Clashes Between Protesters And Riot Police

A Burnt Barricade In Kiev

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Many Of The Protesters Have Been Wearing Helmets And Facemasks In Defiance Of The New Laws That Ban The Wearing Of Such Headgear St Protests

Many protesters were wearing masks and helmets, breaking the new protest laws Protester holds a pneumatic gun during clashes

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Some were seen brandishing handguns

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The clashes are taking place amid heavy snowfall

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New Violence Erupted In Ukraine’s Capital During The Night As A Large Crowd Attacked A Government Exposition And Conference Hall Where Police Were Stationed Inside

Early Sunday, demonstrators were throwing firebombs into the Ukrainian House building and setting off fireworks, and police responded with tear gas. Although the crowd created a corridor at the building’s entrance apparently for police to leave, none were seen coming out.


Protesters stand behind the barricade in front of riot police in central Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday January 25, 2014

Image via timesofisrael.com

The building under attack is about 250 meters (yards) down the street from Independence Square, where mostly peaceful demonstrations have been held around the clock since early December and where protesters have set up an extensive tent camp.


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