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Kiev's Bloodiest Day, After Truce Crumbles

KIEV — After a brief respite in clashes, the Ukraine capital exploded again Thursday, with scenes of urban warfare and photographs of corpses lining Kiev's central square.

Death tolls Thursday range from several dozen to more than 100 victims, according to various sources. Hundreds of injured were also reported as videos and testimonies of snipers allegedly firing live rounds at demonstrators have appeared.

After a truce broke down after less than a day, most sources confirm that Thursday has been the bloodiest day in the months-long showdown between the pro-Russia government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and protesters who favor closer ties with the European Union.

Multiple witnesses in Kiev report demonstrators dead from single gunshot wounds, typical of snipers. This video published in the morning by Euronews shows protesters being shot at in front of Hotel Ukraina:

Meanwhile, clashes sparked on the edge of the Independence Square between anti-government protestors and government security forces, according to RFE/RL:

Photographs of dead bodies strewn along the streets emerged during the day, as death tolls kept rising:

[rebelmouse-image 27087807 alt="""" original_size="599x448" expand=1]Photo: David Blair (via Twitter)

Le Monde journalist Piotr Smolar reported Maidan protestors had "captured 9 militiamen".

— piotr smolar (@piosmo) 20 Février 2014

Buildings around the square were being occupied and used as shelters and makeshift hospitals for the protestors. Volunteers are also said to be providing medical care to the injured:

[rebelmouse-image 27087808 alt="""" original_size="599x400" expand=1]Photo: Olaf Koens (via Twitter)

Earlier, a 21 year old volunteer nurse, who was allegedly wounded at the neck by a gunshot, tweeted "I'm dying" while receiving first aid.

— Olesya Zhukovskaya (@OlesyaZhukovska) 20 Février 2014

It was later reported the young woman had survived after undergoing an operation.

— Vitalii Sediuk (@VitaliiSediuk) 20 Février 2014


For the latest updates on the situation in Ukraine, follow The Interpreter's liveblog.


Alongside the bloodshed, the former pro-government mayor of Kiev, Halyna Hereha, resigned from the ruling party and joined the protestors, according to reports.

— Maxim Eristavi (@MaximEristavi) 20 Février 2014

Three European Union foreign ministers, including France's Laurent Fabius, have held five hours of talks with President Viktor Yanukovych throughout the day. After a first warning yesterday, Fabius reiterated Thursday the threat of E.U. sanctions towards the Ukrainian government. On Twitter, he said the sanctions would include "cancelling visas", the "surveillance" and the "freezing of assets of a certain number of government officials".

— Laurent Fabius (@LaurentFabius) 20 Février 2014

Meanwhile, the White House also expressed its concern towards the deadly violence that shook the Ukrainian capital Thursday.

— @NSCPress (@NSCPress) 20 Février 2014

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Ideas

How Turkey Can Bring Its Brain Drain Back Home

Turkey heads to the polls next year as it faces its worst economic crisis in decades. Disillusioned by corruption, many young people have already left. However, Turkey's disaffected young expats are still very attached to their country, and could offer the best hope for a new future for the country.

Photo of people on a passenger ferry on the Bosphorus, with Istanbul in the background

Leaving Istanbul?

Bekir Ağırdır*

-Analysis-

ISTANBUL — Turkey goes to the polls next June in crucial national elections. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is up against several serious challenges, as a dissatisfied electorate faces the worst economic crisis of his two-decade rule. The opposition is polling well, but the traditional media landscape is in the hands of the government and its supporters.

But against this backdrop, many, especially the young, are disillusioned with the country and its entire political system.

Young or old, people from every demographic, cultural group and class who worry about the future of Turkey are looking for something new. Relationships and dialogues between people from different political traditions and backgrounds are increasing. We all constantly feel the country's declining quality of life and worry about the prevalence of crime and lawlessness.

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