Violent clashes between Ukrainian police and pro-Europe protesters continued for the third straight day Wednesday, quickly turning fatal.
Ukraine's General Prosecutor confirmed that two demonstrators died earlier Wednesday from gunshot wounds and that an investigation is underway. Local media report that a third person died falling from an archway being used to throw stones and Molotov cocktails at police.
Today's struggle started in the morning, after police tried to dismantle a camp in the capital city. It's the first day of the national government's new anti-protest laws, passed by Parliament last week. The announcement of the new legislation, which includes penalties for establishing tents and stages in public spaces and the wearing of helmets and balaclavas, triggered a new wave of opposition that turned violent Sunday.
The escalating violence has led the European Union to announce it may penalize the country over its handling of anti-government protests. Later in the day, President Viktor Yanukovych met with opposition leaders, his first significant move to end the weeks of unrest since his decision to walk away from a trade pact with the EU last November in favor of stronger economic ties with Russia.