Protests in Kiev Turn Deadly

At least two people have been killed in violent clashes between Ukrainian police and pro-Europe protesters.

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.

Ukrainian riot police line up in front of pro-European protesters during clashes in Kiev January 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)
Pro-European protesters stand behind improvised shields during clashes with riot policemen in Kiev January 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich) 
Pro-European protesters throw stones while taking cover behind a burnt bus during clashes with riot police in Kiev January 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko)
Pro-European protesters clash with riot policemen in Kiev January 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich) 
Interior Ministry members hold a man during clashes with pro-European protesters in Kiev January 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)
A riot police officer looks out as his colleagues take cover behind shields during clashes with pro-European protesters in Kiev January 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko)
A woman (C, front) reacts as Interior Ministry members push pro-European protesters during a rally in Kiev January 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)
A woman addresses Ukrainian Interior Ministry members who lined up during clashes with pro-European protesters in Kiev January 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich) 
Pro-European protesters gather during clashes with riot police in Kiev January 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko)
Protesters throw Molotov cocktails during clashes with police in central Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Protesters clash with police in central Kiev, Ukraine, early Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Pro-European protesters hold a rally as smoke rises above Independence Square in central Kiev January 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko) 
An Orthodox priest prays as he stands between pro-European Union activists and police lines during clashes in central Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
A woman brings sandwiches to pro-European protester during clashes with police in Kiev January 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)
Pro-European protesters burn tires and set off fireworks during clashes with riot police in Kiev January 22, 2014. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich) 

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