Behind the Barriers in Maidan Square | Protests in Kiev, Ukraine
After months the standoff between anti government protesters and government forces of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, the protestors camp in and around Maidan ( Independence ) Square in central Kiev resembles a war zone. The protests first erupted in late November 2013 when President Yanukovych rejected a landmark association and trade deal with the EU in favour of closer ties with Russia. In a standoff which has moved between calm and violence for months, encapsulating moments of jubilation, dogged resilience and determination by anti government protests, it escalated dramatically on 18 February, 2014 . Riot police moved into clear the restive protest camp on Independence ( Maidan ) Square after a truce broke down and with policemen being shot, sparking a spiraling decent into a destructive battle. Witnesses reported live rounds, petrol bombs and water cannons at the main protest site. Violence that ensued has left upwards of 75 people dead and over 600 injured. Another turning point in what has largely been peaceful and defiant demonstrations with, at times, violent retaliation by government backed thugs and police that killed three protestors on 23 January, 2014 and resulted in the occupation of government buildings.
With the media saturated with fiery front line images of the standoff between the protestors and Ukraine police for the past few months, "Behind the Barriers" pictures the human side of the camp in the days just ahead of clashes on the 19th February 2014.
Some of the people pictured in this series, "Behind the Barriers" taken on February 17th, were killed when the violence between security forces and the protesters peaked in the indiscriminate shooting of demonstrators by uniformed snipers and security forces on 19th , 20th February 2014.
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