Ukraine On Verge Of Civil War

The New York Times reports:

Mayhem gripped the center of the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday evening as riot police officers moved on protesters massed behind barriers raised throughout Independence Square, the focal point of more than two months of protests against President Viktor F. Yanukovych. As the attack began just before 8 p.m. local time, the police tried to drive two armored personnel carriers through stone-reinforced barriers outside the Khreschatyk Hotel in the square. But they became bogged down and, set upon by protesters wielding rocks and fireworks, burst into flames, apparently trapping the security officers inside and prompting desperate rescue efforts from their colleagues. In the course of wild day of parries and thrusts by the protesters and the police, the authorities in Kiev reported nine people killed, including two police officers. It was the bloodiest day of violence since President Yanukovych spurned a trade deal with Europe in November and set of protests that began peacefully but have since involved occasional spasms of deadly violence.