Independence Square in Kiev, January 30, 2014 (Reuters / Thomas Peter) / Reuters
The turmoil in Ukraine has been at the center of international attention for over a year now. In 10 dramatic videos, RT recounts the bloody events of winter 2014, which heralded the coup in Kiev and was followed by civil war in eastern Ukraine.
The initially peaceful demonstrations on Kiev’s Independence
Square – known round the world as the EuroMaidan protests -
started in November 2014 as a reaction to the then-President
Viktor Yanukovich’s refusal to sign the EU association deal.
However, by mid-February they spiraled out of control with
protesters and police clashing violently and spilling blood on
the streets of the Ukrainian capital.
The bloodshed began on February 18 as the city descended into
chaos after talks between Yanukovich’s government and the
opposition failed. The next few days turned out to be the
bloodiest as Kiev’s city center became a battlefield, claiming
around 100 lives.
1. Protesters tore up the pavement and threw rocks at police, who
were initially ordered to refrain from violence. They also used
metal chains, pepper-spray and even brought in a digger to
2. Riot shields failed to provide police with any protection
against Molotov cocktails thrown at them from the crowd. This
dramatic video shows the officers turning into human torches and
only avoiding fatal injuries thanks to fire brigades working on
3. The footage released by the Ukrainian Interior Ministry shows
the protesters using firearms, torching vehicles and tires on the
chaos-ridden Kiev streets.
4. The fighting continued into the evening, as protesters
assembled barricades and hurled Molotov cocktails at security
5. This video shot from the top floors of the building adjacent
to Independence Square – the heart of the protests – shows a
police vehicle ramming into barricade, which the people behind
6. Maidan Square (also known as Independence Square) was never
dark or quiet during these nights of unrest. It was lit up by
burning tires and fireworks, as police forced the protesters back
with water cannons and engaged in running street battles.
7. Many were reportedly killed by unidentified sniper fire from
the top floors of the buildings overlooking the main protest
8. Police used live ammunition against the protesters on the
streets. This footage was shot on Institutskaya Street, next to
Maidan Square, another scene of violent skirmishes.
9. There were a great number of law enforcers deployed to
disperse the raging crowds, but they weren’t always able to hold
their positions. The video below shows protesters pushing a truck
into a line of shield-bearing riot police, and then torching them
with Molotov cocktails.
10. Maidan Square transformed beyond recognition during the
unrest - massive clouds of black smoke rose from the historic
city center and the buildings on the square were partly