Three Protestors Reported Dead in Renewed Clashes with Riot Police in Kiev

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
Barricades in the center of Kiev

Unrest in Ukraine has become the Hollywood cause, with George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger recording video messages of support for peaceful protests.

Three opposition activists in Kiev were said to have been killed Tuesday in renewed clashes with Ukrainian riot police.

Photos were posted on the site of Ukrainian newspaper Ukrainska Pravda that claimed to show the bodies of two of the men who died, as wire agencies reported that an opposition leader and medics had confirmed the deaths.

The newspaper quoted medic Olga Bohomolets as saying that there were three dead and "dozens of seriously wounded" people in a building used as a medical station by protestors. The men died, she added, because medics were unable to reach them in time to apply first aid.

"People are dying because we've not been able to provide timely assistance," she told the paper. "People have died from serious gunshot wounds to the head and the heart."

The fatalities, which could not be immediately independently confirmed, came as violence flared again in Kiev, where opposition protestors have demanded the resignation of president Viktor Yanukovych and political reforms since the he turned away from a deal that would have brought Ukraine closer politically and economically to the European Union. Instead the president, from the Russian-speaking Eastern half of the country, turned toward Russia and accepted a cheap gas deal and $15 billion credit from the Kremlin.

That enraged his political opponents and thousands took to the streets. Since then protestors have occupied government and other public buildings and constructed barricades around Maidan (Independence) Square.

Kiev has been largely quiet since violence flared late January when seven people lost their lives in clashes with the police close to Dinamo Stadium, a few hundred meters from Maidan and elsewhere in and around Kiev.

Hollywood figures, including George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger have recorded video messages of support, calling for peaceful "democratic" protests.