Despite a putative truce announced Wednesday night, Thursday was bloodiest day yet in the ongoing Ukrainian uprising. The violence, which has been most intense in the capital of Kiev, has spread to other cities.
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Anti-government protesters stand in line near Independence Square in central Kiev February 20, 2014. Ukraine suffered its bloodiest day since Soviet times on Thursday with a gun battle in central Kiev as President Viktor Yanukovych faced conflicting pressures from visiting European Union ministers and his Russian paymasters. Three hours of fierce fighting in Independence Square, which was recaptured by anti-government protesters, left the bodies of over 20 civilians strewn on the ground, a few hundred metres from where the president met the EU delegation.
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A woman takes a picture of photos of some of the victims of Thursday's violence in Kiev, in front of the Ukrainian embassy in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. Fierce clashes between police and protesters shattered a brief truce in Ukraine's besieged capital Thursday, killing dozens of people.
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Activists burn tyres at barricades close to Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. The heavy black smoke rising from burning tyres obscures the aim of police snipers. Fierce clashes between police and protesters in Ukraine's capital have shattered the brief truce Thursday and an Associated Press reporter has seen dozens bodies laid out on the edge of the protest encampment.
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A woman joins in mourning for local high school students who were killed in clashes with riot police in the capital of Kiev, at an anti-government demonstration under a statue of Taras Shevchenko, a Ukrainian poet and artist, in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, Feb. 20, 2014. At least 39 were reported killed in fighting in Kiev, intensifying fears that President Viktor Yanukovych would deploy the military to regain control of the capital.
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Residents of Lviv, Ukraine, mourn local high school students who were killed in clashes with riot police in the capital of Kiev, Feb. 20, 2014.
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An anti-government protester prays by a barricade of tires, outside a Ukrainian army facility in the western city of Lviv, Feb. 20, 2014. As many as 600 locals a day here are boarding buses bound for the capital of Kiev to strengthen the ranks of protesters engaged in increasingly lethal clashes with riot police.
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Anti-government protesters confer in a stairwell at their headquarters in Lviv, Ukraine, Feb. 20, 2014.
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A youth takes a photo of his friend outside a police car that was burned and overturned two days prior outside a police station in Lviv, Ukraine, Feb. 20, 2014.
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Activists have a rest at the burning barricades, on the side of bloody clashes close to Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. Fearing that a call for a truce was a ruse, protesters tossed firebombs and advanced upon police lines Thursday in Ukraine's embattled capital. Government snipers shot back and the almost medieval melee that ensued left scores of people dead.