Anti-government protesters take cover behind shields as they gather in Independence Square in central Kiev February 19, 2014. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili
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Protesters braced Wednesday for a fresh assault by riot police in central Kiev after a day of clashes left at least 25 people dead in the worst violence since the start of Ukraine's three-month political crisis.As dawn rose over Kiev's battered city centre, protesters hurled paving stones and Molotov cocktails at lines of riot police that had pushed into the heart of the devastated protest camp on Independence Square.On Tuesday, some 20,000 anti-Yanukovych protesters clashed with police outside parliament as they rallied for lawmakers to strip the president of a raft of powers.Running street battles broke out and protesters took back control of city hall and attacked Yanukovych's party headquarters with petrol bombs.The violence also spread to the west of the country, where thousands of protesters overran public buildings, including the police and special forces' headquarters in the historic city of Lviv, where they took control of an arms warehouse.In Ternopil, protesters lobbed Molotov cocktails at a local government building before occupying it, while similar scenes played out in the city of Ivano-Frankivsk.
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