When President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine announced rejection of trade agreements with the European Union, more than 100,000 came out in the streets protesting against the move. They assembled into Maidan Nezalezhnosti Square with European Union flags and brandishing posters reading “Ukraine is Europe”.
Ukraine has been passing through political unrest for the last decades and this has been the largest gathering of people since 2004, when people marched into large numbers to protest against the disputed presidential election. This was later known as the Orange Revolution.
The problem started with the president moving towards making deals with Putin and Russia. While the people of Ukraine wanted to stay with the European Union, such moves have led them further away from that. Initially the protest was not violent as the number of protesters started increasing, the police tried to disperse them forcefully, beating with batons.
With days passing the number of protesters was swelling up and in early December it reached to peak of 800, 000 people on the road, and the situation turned into a full-fledged riot when the Ukrainian parliament passed anti-protest laws for stopping the anti-government protests. This has adverse effects, as people started organizing themselves into various sub-units and created barricades for keeping the police at bay.
The rioters tried to invade the parliament building where they were confronted with the riot police and military cars. As the roads were blocked the rioters started pelting stones and bricks to the police. They also set off fireworks and also started throwing burning tires to the police. Some of them also used Molotov cocktails and gas bombs and also burnt buses. The police also retaliated with water cannons and rubber bullets and ultimately had to open fire when two rioters died of police firing. Scroll down the photos to have a look.