Hugh Bayley: Bloodshed adds to civil war fears in Ukraine

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Protests have gripped Ukraine since the government rejected a major partnership deal with the EU, despite years of negotiations, in favour of stronger ties with Russia in November 2013.

Thousands of pro-EU Ukrainians poured on to the streets of the capital, Kiev, urging President Viktor Yanukovych to cancel his U-turn. He refused, and the protests continued.

They turned violent on January 19, and deadly three days later in the capital, where confrontation turned into rioting after the government brought in tough new laws to end mass protests on the main square.

Opposition leaders and President Yanukovych then held talks, and on January 28, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his cabinet resigned.

The Ukrainian parliament voted overwhelmingly to annul the anti-protest laws. But the opposition called for new elections, and the demonstrations have continued.