Anti-government protesters clash with riot police in central Kiev on February 18, 2014. AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKY
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Ukraine's political crisis escalated sharply Tuesday, with at least nine people reported killed and scores injured in violent, often fiery battles between anti-government demonstrators and police in Kiev.The clashes outside parliament erupted after the opposition accused the government of ignoring its demands even after nearly three months of protests that have paralyzed the capital. It was the worst violence since the protests began in late November. Olha Bilyk, spokeswoman for the Kiev city police, told The Associated Press that two policemen were killed, likely by gunshot wounds, in Tuesday's clashes and seven civilians died, including three who were shot.The protests began in November after President Viktor Yanukovych froze ties with the EU in exchange for a $15 billion bailout from Russia, but the political maneuvering continued and Moscow later suspended its payments.
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