Death toll rises to 25 in police, protester clashes in Ukraine
(CNN) — Ukraine’s President Victor Yanukovich distanced his government from any participation in the violent clashes between security forces and protesters that left 25 people dead Tuesday, pinning the blame instead on anti-government demonstrators.
The street protests, he said, violated democratic principles. He demanded that protesters either disentangle themselves “from the radical forces that provoke bloodshed and clashes with law enforcement” — or admit to being allied with them.
The violence Tuesday was the deadliest since demonstrations started in November.
In addition to the 25 who died, another 241 were hospitalized, Ukraine’s health ministry said.
The health ministry website, which posted the figures Wednesday, did not break them down into civilian and police deaths.
But among the deceased was a Ukrainian journalist who died Wednesday from a gunshot wound inflicted the night before when a group of masked people stopped a taxi he was riding in, according to a statement by his newspaper Ukrainian Vesti.