Clashes continued through the night in Kiev, as anti-government protesters kept barricades burning in the capital to fend off security forces. The opposition has set a 24-hour deadline for President Viktor Yanukovych to call early elections. (Jan. 22)
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Kiev, Ukraine - 23 January 2014
++ NIGHT SHOTS++
1. Wide of protesters launching fireworks at police from behind burning barricade
2. Mid of demonstrators throwing tires onto flaming barricade, fireworks launch in background
3. Close of burning tires
4. Mid of demonstrators protecting themselves with shields, barricade burns in background
5. Wide of demonstrators taking shelter behind shields while others throw tires into fire, a large catapult is being used to fire projectiles at police
6. Pan of protesters running past burning barricade carrying large wooden catapult
7. Wide of protesters standing behind burning barricade
8. Mid of demonstrators standing around fire
9. Wide of crowd of protesters standing behind burning barricade, in background spray from a hose being used to douse fires
Clashes continued through the night into early Thursday morning in Kiev, as anti-government protesters kept barricades burning in the capital to fend off security forces.
Thick black smoke from the burning tires filled the streets as several thousand protesters continued to face off with riot police, after Ukrainian opposition leaders urged tens of thousands of demonstrators in a nearby square to refrain from violence for the next 24 hours.
Ukrainian opposition leaders issued a stark ultimatum to President Viktor Yanukovych on Wednesday to call early elections within 24 hours or face more popular rage, after at least two protesters were killed in confrontations with police.
Some 40-thousand protesters camped out in Kiev's Independence Square, also known as the Maidan, have been told by opposition leaders to stay there while the ultimatum is in play.
The protesters' deaths, the first since the largely peaceful protests started in November, were a grim escalation in the two-month long political crisis.
It is feared that the daily demonstrations aimed at bringing down the government over its decision to shun the European Union for closer ties to Moscow and over human rights violations could turn more violent.
Yanukovych has showed little willingness to compromise, however.
The government has handed security forces extra powers, including closing off streets and firing water cannon against protesters despite the freezing temperatures.
Police have already used water cannon but insisted it was only to put out fires.
The government also deployed an armored personnel carrier at the site of the clashes.