Transatlantic Relations Program Senior Fellow Adrian Karatnycky writes in the Wall Street Journal on the outbreak of violence in Ukraine:
Ukraine’s militia shot dead three protesters at the scene of mass protests in the capital Kiev Wednesday morning. Another had died earlier from beatings.
The deaths of these protesters were the first in independent Ukraine’s 23-year history and came after the demonstrators had agreed to halt to violent clashes with the authorities in the hope of opening negotiations with the authorities.
On Sunday afternoon, central Kiev had been transformed into a battleground from the Middle Ages. Skirmishes were fought and forays were launched by several thousand opposition warriors bearing clubs, two by fours, and improvised maces. Combatants carried metal shields and wore metal and plexiglass helmets. Some fighters constructed a catapult to hurl Molotov cocktails.