Riots in Kiev
On Tuesday, 18 February, 2014, the EuroMaidan participants held a peaceful march towards the headquarters of the Supreme Council of Ukraine. As a result of provocation by the Anti-Maidan and use of stun grenades by police, riots started on Institutska Street and in Mariinsky Park. Military vehicles were burned. At approx. 1:00 p.m., Berkut special militia detachments appeared on the scene. Through the use of combat grenades, smoothbore guns (with rubber and metal bullets) and tear gas, they forced demonstrators back to Independence Square. Three hours later, Berkut and MIA troops began storming the Maidan from Institutska Street and Khreschatyk Street (on the side of the European Square). Demonstrators were forced from the intersection of the streets and from the Column of Independence. Resistance concentrated in the vicinity of the stage and the House of Trade Unions. The two parties have remained at these positions to the present. From time to time, attempted storming is carrried out. Water cannons, armoured vehicles, combat grenades and tear gas are used. The other party, a paramilitary formation of protesters, the so called ‘Self-Defence Forces of Maidanʼ, also has guns. Also, the so-called ‘titushkyʼ, i.e. young hooligans employed by the government to confront the EuroMaidan, are involved in the fights. As a result of the clashes, the House of Trade Unions (former headquarters of the Maidan and the biggest point of medical aid, which was evacuated during the night) was gutted by fire. According to official data, 20 people died in the clashes. Unofficially, local doctors claim the number of fatalities could be much higher.