AP Photo: Sergei Chuzavkov – Anti-government protesters protected themselves with shields during clashes with riot police in Kiev’s Independence Square, the epicenter of the country’s current unrest, Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Feb. 19.
KIEV, Ukraine — Defiant Ukrainian protesters seized control of the capital’s central post office Wednesday, hurling fire bombs and rocks and standing their ground against officers in riot gear who threw stun grenades and fired water cannon a day after clashes that left at least 25 people dead and raised fears of civil war.
The demonstrators forced their way into into the post office in Independences Square, also known as the Maidan, after a nearby building they had previously occupied was burned down in the previous day’s clashes. Against the official onslaught, thousands of activists armed with fire bombs and rocks defended the square which has been a bastion and symbol for the demonstrators.
During the night, the square was encircled by a wall of fire from burning tires. Smoke was still rising from the rose above the center of the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday afternoon.