Gunfire in Kiev's Independence Square today (February 20, 2014) shattered a truce declared hours earlier between the Ukrainian government and anti-government protesters, the UPI website reports.
According to the chief of the National Resistance Headquarters' medical service Sviatoslav Khanenko, more than 60 people were killed today with the number of deaths expected to rise.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych blamed the protesters for the failed truce. In a statement on the presidential website, his office alleged: "The opposition used the negotiation period to buy time, to mobilize, and to get weapons to protesters."
Meanwhile, Acting Ukrainian Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko confirmed that police have been issued combat weapons. "We signed relevant orders as part of the Antiterrorist Center's work: the law enforcement officials have been provided with combat weapons, and they will be used in line with the law on police."