VIDEO: Violent Protests Escalate in Kiev, Ukraine
Live pictures out of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, show fiery protests escalating. Police are reportedly shooting stun grenades at the crowd that has taken over Independence Square. New video also shows ambulances moving into the square.
UPDATE, 6:55p ET: Vice President Joe Biden called Ukraine's President Yanukovych, asking him to stand down. Hear Charles Krauthammer's reaction below.
UPDATE, 6:45p ET: The death toll has risen to 18.
UPDATE, 4:15p ET: Reuters reports that 14 people are dead, including six police officers who were gunned down.
Officials say nine people died today in the violence, which has been ongoing since last November. They took over city hall and started fires around the square. At a nearby parliament building, demonstrators threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at police who tried to keep them behind barricades.
Massive protests began when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych aligned the country with Russia instead of with the European Union. Demonstrators are demanding that lawmakers vote to limit the president’s power.
Charles Krauthammer reacted to the protests on Special Report. “This is Russia’s attempt to grab Ukraine as a way to reconstitute a mini-Soviet empire. Remember, Putin is the guy who said the greatest tragedy of the 20th Century was the breakup of the Soviet Union.”
He wondered, “Why is it Biden on the phone and not Obama? The stakes could not be higher on the fate of that part of Eastern Europe.”
Watch the segment below: