Even More Insane Photos From the Protests in Kiev, Ukraine

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Protestors throw stones as they clash with police in the center of Kiev on January 22, 2014. At least two activists were shot dead today as Ukrainian police stormed protesters' barricades in Kiev, the first fatalities in two months of anti-government protests. Pitched battles raged in the centre of the Ukrainian capital as protesters hurled stones at police and the security forces responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. AFP PHOTO / GENYA SAVILOV        (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: GENYA SAVILOV/2014 AFP

The ongoing battles between anti-government demonstrators and the police in Ukraine’s capital turned deadly overnight when at least two protesters were shot and killed. A third person reportedly died in the chaos when he fell from the Dynamo Kiev stadium, where rocks and Molotov cocktails were thrown at authorities while fires burned across the surrounding area. “I express my deep regret over the loss of lives in the conflict triggered by political extremists,” said President Viktor Yanukovych.

The protests began as a response to a failed trade deal with the EU, but have intensified since the weekend:

Opponents of the government said three recent actions had been intended to incite the more radical protesters and sow doubt in the minds of moderates: the passing of laws last week restricting public assembly; the blocking of a protest march past Parliament on Sunday; and the sending of cellphone messages on Tuesday to people standing in the vicinity of the fighting that said, “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.”

To counter an anti-protest law banning helmets from protests, demonstrators have started to wear colanders on their heads instead.

The rest of the images from the ground are much less whimsical:

Riot police clash with protesters in the center of Kiev on January 22, 2014. Ukrainian police on Wednesday stormed protesters' barricades in Kiev amid violent clashes where two activists were shot dead, the first fatalities in two months of anti-government protests. Pitched battles raged in the centre of the Ukrainian capital as protesters hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at police and the security forces responded with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets. AFP PHOTO / ANATOLIY STEPANOV        (Photo credit should read ANATOLIY STEPANOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Riot police clash with protesters in the center of Kiev on January 22, 2014. Photo: AFP/2014 AFP
A demonstrator throws a stone during clashes between protestors and police in the center of Kiev on January 22, 2014. At least two activists were shot dead today as Ukrainian police stormed protesters' barricades in Kiev, the first fatalities in two months of anti-government protests. Pitched battles raged in the centre of the Ukrainian capital as protesters hurled stones at police and the security forces responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKY        (Photo credit should read SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
A demonstrator throws a stone during clashes between protestors and police in the center of Kiev on January 22, 2014. Photo: SERGEI SUPINSKY/2014 AFP
A Ukrainian police officer throws a Molotov cocktail during clashes with protesters in the centre of Kiev on January 22, 2014. Ukrainian police today stormed protesters' barricades in Kiev as violent clashes erupted and activists said that one person had been shot dead by the security forces. Total of two activists shot dead during clashing. The move by police increased tensions to a new peak after two months of protests over President Viktor Yanukovych's failure to sign a deal for closer ties with the EU. AFP PHOTO/ YURIY KIRNICHNY        (Photo credit should read YURIY KIRNICHNY/AFP/Getty Images)
A Ukrainian police officer throws a Molotov cocktail during clashes with protesters. Photo: AFP/2014 AFP
KIEV, UKRAINE - JANUARY 22:  Three people were reported dead in Kiev on Wednesday morning, during clashes between police and demonstrators against the government's anti-protest law in Kiev, Ukraine, on January 22, 2014. (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Photo: Anadolu Agency/2014 Anadolu Agency
KIEV, UKRAINE - JANUARY 22: Ukrainian protesters shoot with a help of petards amongst burning automobile tires during a mass action of opposition on Grushevsky street against laws recently accepted by the Verkhovna Rada that toughen requirements to carrying out mass meetings and restrict journalists activity, on January 22, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. (Photo by Vladislav Sodel/Kommersant Photo via Getty Images)
Ukrainian protesters shoot with the help of petards among burning automobile tires during a mass action of opposition on Grushevsky street against laws recently accepted by the Verkhovna Rada that toughen requirements for carrying out mass meetings and restrict journalists' activity. Photo: Kommersant Photo/2014 Kommersant Photo
A protestor holds up a chain and riot police shield during clashes with police in the center of Kiev on January 22, 2014. At least two activists were shot dead today as Ukrainian police stormed protesters' barricades in Kiev, the first fatalities in two months of anti-government protests. Pitched battles raged in the centre of the Ukrainian capital as protesters hurled stones at police and the security forces responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKY        (Photo credit should read SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
A protestor holds up a chain and riot police shield during clashes with police. Photo: SERGEI SUPINSKY/2014 AFP
Riot police stand with raised shields during clashes with protestors in the centre of Kiev on January 22, 2014. Ukrainian police today stormed protesters' barricades in Kiev as violent clashes erupted and activists said that one person had been shot dead by the security forces. Total of two activists shot dead during clashing. The move by police increased tensions to a new peak after two months of protests over President Viktor Yanukovych's failure to sign a deal for closer ties with the EU. AFP PHOTO/ VASILY MAXIMOV        (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Riot police stand with raised shields. Photo: AFP/2014 AFP
Protesters clash with police in the center of Kiev on January 22, 2014. Ukrainian police on Wednesday stormed protesters' barricades in Kiev amid violent clashes that left five activists dead, the first fatalities in two months of anti-government protests. Pitched battles raged in the centre of the Ukrainian capital as protesters hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at police and the security forces responded with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets. AFP PHOTO / OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK        (Photo credit should read OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: AFP/2014 AFP
KIEV, UKRAINE - JANUARY 22:  Three people were reported dead in Kiev on Wednesday morning, during clashes between police and demonstrators against the government's anti-protest law in Kiev, Ukraine, on January 22, 2014. (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Photo: Anadolu Agency/2014 Anadolu Agency