More Violence, More Dead As Brief Ukraine Truce Crumbles

What was already considered a shaky truce disappeared Thursday morning as protesters and security forces clashed in Kiev.

More Violence, More Dead As Brief Ukraine Truce Crumbles

Less than 24 hours after announcing what many considered a very tentative truce in Ukraine, fighting sparked again in the capital Kiev.

Early Thursday, the number reported dead in the most recent clashes between protesters and security forces depended on which network you watched. (Via RT)

"It's reported at least 21 protesters have been found dead near Independence Square where pro-European demonstrators have been encamped for three months." (Via ITV)

Only 10 hours earlier, President Viktor Yankovych's website proclaimed a halt to the fighting, saying negotiations were underway to end the bloodshed.

But an update posted to the president's site shortly after 11:00 a.m. local time Thursday declared protesters broke the truce.

"Assurances of opposition leaders regarding the necessity of truce and restoration of dialogue turned out only a maneuver to play for time and mobilize arming of rebels."

CNN reporters stationed at a hotel that became a makeshift hospital for the wounded say around dawn, protesters were throwing rocks and molotov cocktails at security forces who were mostly out of range. At some point, it appeared those forces got an order to pull back farther.

"But then as they have continued to pull back, some of those protesters have pursued them, and it appears they have been met with gunfire." (Via CNN)

While the president's site said police were not armed and only using non-lethal tactics, several accounts from reporters in Kiev contradicted that.

A quote from opposition leader and retired boxer Vitali Klitschko didn't address how the fighting started, but he said, "Authorities resort to bloody provocations in plain view of the world. Armed criminals and toughs were unleashed to beat people to show that there is conflict among people. But these plans are doomed." (Via Sky News)

Protests began in Ukraine in November when Yanukovych spurned a deal with the European Union and instead took a bailout from Russia, though protests only became violent last month. (Via Sky News)