Darkness fell on Thursday evening on Independence square in Kyiv ending the bloodiest 24 hours since protests began in the Ukraine capital three months ago.
It also brought a glimmer of hope on the political front.
The protesters started to bury the dead. Dozens were killed including a number of policemen as the clashes erupted. According to reports hundreds were treated in hospitals. Claims from the interior ministry said a number of police were being held hostage.
The anti-government protesters regained territory they had lost and started to dig in. President Viktor Yaunkovych it’s reported has agreed to elections this year after a meeting with the Polish, French and German foreign ministers. Talks are set to resume to discuss a roadmap for ending the crisis. “We hope for a result,” said one opposition leader, Vitaly Klitschko. On independence square fear was the over riding emotion.
“Of course I am afraid. Everyone is afraid but if people don’t do anything we will be even more afraid. Everybody understands this, that’s why we are here,” said one protester talking to euronews while another added: “Bricks and Molotov cocktails are the self-defence weapons for people to protect themselves from the Berkut (riot police)who beat and kill people.”
There has been no definitive reason as to what sparked the bloodshed.
As night fell it was announced the European Union had agreed to impose sanctions on those responsible for the deadly violence with a warning it would ratchet up the pressure if the situation got worse.