Between February 18 and 22, 2014, pro-EU protesters, riot police and mysterious shooters fought it out in the streets of the Ukrainian capital, resulting in the death of 100 protesters and 13 police officers, many of them by sniper fire, and the ouster of unpopular but democratically-elected President Viktor Yanukovych.
Three years have passed, but the political and social unrest caused by the coup has yet to die down. The center of Kiev has again turned into something reminiscent of a martial law situation as riot police and security forces decked out in army gear have formed to prevent clashes from getting out of control.
"A human wall made of police in the center of Kiev."
About five thousand police officers and soldiers from the National Guard descended on the Ukrainian capital over the weekend, setting up filtration checkpoints to verify documents and inspect belongings, including the use of bomb-sniffing dogs. A total of about 200,000 protesters are expected to participate in over two dozen separate rallies before the commemorative week is through.
"More and more police units being deployed in Kiev."
On Sunday, clashes broke out between Maidan activists and police over the so-called trade blockade of the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, resulting in one policeman receiving serious injuries, and ten protesters hurt (one seriously); at least half-a-dozen more protesters were detained. Several hundred protesters had tried to break through a police cordon and set up tents near the Presidential Administration building, with the police preventing them from doing so, and fighting breaking out as a result.
У сутичках на Європейській площі серйозні травми отримав поліцейський, 5 протестувальників затримано https://t.co/Czzh9lvnEH— Hromadske.UA (@HromadskeUA) 19 февраля 2017 г.
"In clashes on European Square, one policeman was seriously injured; 5 protesters were detained."
"Clashes between police and protesters at the Presidential Administration building."
Protests are expected to continue into Monday. In the morning, people carrying flowers and commemorative candles began arriving in the center of the capital to commemorate those who were killed in clashes three years ago.
Later on Monday, more protests are expected to be start in front of the Presidential Administration. Protesters are demanding improved social benefits for law enforcement, and that banks not be allowed to seize debtors' property. Traffic along Khreshchatyk, the main street in Kiev, has been blocked off, and people are reported to be passing through police security checkpoints.
"Military equipment pulled up to the Poroshenko Presidential Administration Building."
On Monday morning, the Kiev police's press service reported that it had confiscated an RGD-5 anti-personnel fragmentation grenade from a protester. The suspicious-looking individual was arrested, and an investigative team was sent to disarm the weapon.