A protester holds a makeshft shield in front of a burning car during clashes with police in Kiev February 18, 2014. (Reuters / Konstantin Chernichkin) / Reuters
Burning tires, barricades of rubble and blood on the pavement – RT presents the most striking photos from last February’s Maidan riots in Ukraine, which turned the capital Kiev into a warzone and led to an armed coup in the country.
1. With police carrying batons and riot shields, and protesters
metal clubs and home-made protective gear – their clashes at
times looked more befitting of a medieval battle field than a
2. The equipment of the riot police failed to provide any
significant protection from Molotov cocktails, widely used by the
protesters, with numerous officers being turned into human
torches on the streets of Kiev.
3. The more rowdy protesters used every means available to
provoke the police. At times it seemed like their sole aim was to
escalate the violence.
4. Thousands came out to Maidan frustrated by the president’s
decision to postpone the signing on an association agreement with
5. The rioters employed a variety of unconventional weapons
against the police, with metal chains being especially effective
given their added reach.
6. Law enforcement officers responded to the violence caused by
the rioters by beating and detaining numerous protestors on
Kiev’s Independence Square (Maidan) and nearby streets.
7. The recipe for a Molotov cocktail is simple and thousands of
these so-called “poor man’s grenades” were hurled at the
police during the Maidan riots.
8. This is no celebration! Colorful fireworks became a dangerous
weapon in the hands of the Maidan rioters.
9. Dead bodies soon became a common picture in the heart of the
Ukrainian capital as unidentified snipers were allegedly firing
at both the protesters and security officers.
10. As the tensions kept rising on Maidan, both rioters and the
police switched from hand-held weapons to firearms.
11. Darkness never completely descended on Independence Square no
matter the hour, with burning barricades used to keep security
officers at bay blazing through the night.
12. Skeletons of burned-out vehicles and heaps of tires made
perfect makeshift material for the barricades.
13. Around a hundred people are believed to have lost their lives
during the peak of the Maidan riots on February 18-21, 2014.
14. Kiev’s streets were ripped up by protesters to replenish
their stock of stones to hurl at riot police.
15. Central Kiev woke up in ruins after the riots, with the scale
of devastation making it hard to believe that the square used to
be one of the city’s main tourist attractions.
Kiev's Maidan square before and after the revolution