Broken barricades, rubber bullets and raging street battles in the heart of Kiev; RT’s Peter Oliver captured a brutal police beating on film after getting swept up in the crowds being driven from Maidan Square.
The Ukrainian capital descended into a scene of chaos on Wednesday as police moved in to break up barricades erected by protesters.
Black smoke from burning tires choked the air as demonstrators lobbed Molotov cocktails, broken bricks and other improvised weapons at police amidst sub-zero temperatures.
The fusillade of rubber bullet fire filled the air, as the intermittent boom of flash bangs and the constant rattling batons on police shields punctuated efforts to drive protesters from the prominent city square.
Following a series of explosions, Peter Oliver was swept up by a crowd being driven back by police, ultimately being forced to take shelter in a nearby building as police moved in.
The cameras continued to roll as police clad in riot gear drove back fleeing protesters. In the ensuing melee, an officer knocked a protester to the ground with two deft blows from his baton. The man collapsed right beneath the window where the RT crew had taken shelter as the officer moved in to deliver 5 brutal blows to his felled target.
Another masked officer moved in and prepared to deliver his own shot before pulling back, staring down a camera man on the street, and threatening him with his baton as well.
Meanwhile, RT's RUPTLY video agency got a bird's eye view of the veritable police stampede. In several instances, police swarmed on downed protesters, violently clubbing them on the ground.
Several people have been reported dead after four days of anti-government violence reached a fever pitch in the Ukrainian capital.
After the reported fatalities, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov accused terrorists of endangering the lives of the city’s residents, promising that those who had broken the law would not go unpunished.