EU calls for dialogue as Russia demands Ukrainian opposition stops bloodshed
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 01:44
Feb. 19 - The deadliest day in Ukraine since its independence draws condemnation from the European Union and Russia. Nathan Frandino reports.
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As Ukrainian protesters prepare for what could be another deadly day of clashes, world leaders voice concern over the escalation of events.
At the European Union in Brussels, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso condemns the violence.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT JOSE MANUEL BARROSO SAYING:
"We call on all sides to put an end to violence immediately and to engage into a serious dialogue. We believe that is the only way to respond to the democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people."
After a night of petrol bombs and gunfire on Kiev's Independence Square, black smoke billowed from a burned out trade union building that protest organizers had used as headquarters.
So far, more than two dozen people have been killed in the country's worst violence since it gained independence from the former Soviet Union.
Amateur video taken from a social media website showed a protester being shot in the middle of the street.
In Russia, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said it was up to the opposition leaders to stop the bloodshed.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ALEXANDER LUKASHEVICH, SAYING:
"Russia urges the leaders of "the square" to stop bloodshed in their country and immediately resume dialogue with the legitimate authorities without any threats and ultimatums. Ukraine is a friendly and brotherly state for Russia, a strategic partner, and we will use all our influence to bring calm and peace to this country."
This latest bout of violence comes after Ukraine accepted on Monday $2 billion in aid from Russia.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has since accused protesters of trying to stage a coup.
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