Total Pageviews

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Footage of Mayhem on the Streets of Kiev

As my colleague David Herszenhorn reports from Kiev, at least two protesters were shot to death on the streets of the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday during pitched battles between the riot police and demonstrators.

Journalists who have been covering the standoff for weeks uploaded dramatic images of the spiraling conflict to social networks from the streets throughout the day. Among the most surreal footage of Wednesday’s clashes was a brief clip posted on YouTube by the Polish journalist Pawel Bobolowicz, which showed a priest standing among the massed ranks of opposition protesters girded for battle, as a wall of thick black smoke engulfed a city street.

Video of the mayhem on the streets of Kiev on Wednesday, uploaded to YouTube by the Polish journalist Paweł Bobołowicz.

More footage of smoke and flames during the pitched battle along Hrushevskoho Street, near a distinctive colonnade close to the Valeriy Lobanovskyi Dynamo Stadium where the local soccer powerhouse plays its matches, was uploaded to YouTube by a video blogger named Roman Melnyk.

Video of clashes in Kiev, uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday.

Myroslava Petsa, a Ukrainian journalist, drew attention to what she called the best footage of Wednesday’s violence, in a report from another Polish correspondent, Bartłomiej Maslankiewicz of the broadcaster TV Republika.

A Polish television report on Wednesday’s violence on the streets of Kiev.

Later in the evening, Olaf Koens, a Dutch correspondent in Kiev, posted a photograph of a bonfire of burning tires outside the Dynamo stadium on Twitter.

Adding to the obvious danger of reporting on the spiraling violence from the streets, members of the riot police force, known as the Berkut, have continued to target journalists, as footage posted online by the Ukrainian news site Telekritika demonstrated.

Video of a Ukrainian riot police officer battering a journalist on Wednesday in Kiev.

Late Wednesday, Geoffrey Pyatt, the American ambassador in Kiev, retweeted an image of the United States Embassy surrounded by men said to be pro-government thugs, known as titushki.

Those demonstrators appeared hours after the State Department blamed “aggressive actions of members of extreme-right group Pravy Sektor” for “inflaming conditions on the streets and undermining the efforts of peaceful protesters” and condemned “violence by unofficial groups known as ‘titushki.’ ”

Maxim Eristavi, the editor in chief of a Kiev radio station, shared an image later of what he said was the sign outside the American Embassy defaced by eggs thrown by government supporters.

As Marina Galperina reported in a post on the clashes for Animal New York, Mr. Bobolowicz, who reports for Radio Wnet, has recorded gripping footage of the clashes this week, including 17 minutes of video shot during a charge by the Berkut on Tuesday that forced demonstrators back in the direction of the main protest camp on Europe Square.

Video recorded in Kiev on Tuesday by the Polish journalist Pawel Bobolowicz.

For their part, the police have been busy posting video on what appears to be the official YouTube channel of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, showing that officers have been injured in the clashes. Ilya Mouzykantskii, a freelance writer who has contributed to The Lede in the past, reported on Twitter that a compilation of recent video posted on the ministry channel on Wednesday showed Berkut officers catching fire after Molotov cocktails were hurled at them by protesters on Monday.

Video edited by Ukraine’s Interior Ministry showed officers under attack during clashes with protesters this week.

Supporters of the protest movement, however, drew attention to more footage recorded that day, during a live-stream broadcast by Ukraine’s Espresso TV, which appeared to show Berkut officers pummeling and then dragging away a captured protester.

Video streamed live to the web on Monday by Ukraine’s Espresso TV appeared to show riot police officers beating a captured protester.

Robert Mackey also remixes the news on Twitter @robertmackey.