- Posted February 18, 2014 by
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Riot police surround protest camp in central Kiev as violence worsens
- Verybecoming, CNN iReport producer
Officers belonging to Ukraine's elite Berkut riot police force moved in toward protesters in Kiev's central square as some of the worst violence since the movement began in November played out on the streets of the capital.
Police fired rubber bullets toward the protest camp, which has become a fixture of the anti-government demonstration. Firebombs set tents ablaze, sending protesters scrambling to put out the fire as panic gripped the city.
Several protesters and at least once officer were reported killed in the violence, which broke out early Tuesday when angry demonstrators tried to advance toward government buildings.
Authorities shut down Kiev's subway system and blocked roads leading into the city as opposition members and protest leaders called on Ukrainians to gather in the central square.
Tensions had eased in the days prior, with protesters agreeing to vacate Kiev's city hall and police agreeing to move back from the blockade they had formed on one of the main roads leading to the country's main government buildings.