|Bloody day in Ukraine||
At least 26 people died and over 240 were injured during the clashes between police and protesters in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Tuesday.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich accused pro-European opposition leaders on Wednesday of trying to seize power by force
It was the worst violence since the former Soviet republic gained independence.
European Union leaders condemned what they called "the unjustified use of excessive force by the Ukrainian authorities" and said they were urgently preparing targeted sanctions against those responsible for the crackdown.
Protesters have been occupying central Kiev for almost three months since Yanukovich spurned a far-reaching trade deal with the EU and accepted a $15-billion Russian bailout.
In Brussels, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the 28-nation EU, at an emergency meeting on Thursday, would impose sanctions on those blamed for the bloodshed.
Meanwhile, Moscow said the deadly clashes in Kiev were an attempt at a coup by radicalized protesters.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry described the violence in Ukraine as an attempt at a coup d’etat and a “brown” revolution, accusing European politicians and institutions of “refusing to admit that all of the responsibility for the actions of radical forces in Ukraine rests with the opposition.”
“The Russian side is demanding the leaders on the streets to stop the violence in their country, immediately resume dialogue with the lawful government without threats and ultimatums,” the statement reads.
In another development, Ukraine’s security service has announced it is launching a counter-terror operation. Radicals have seized over 1,500 firing arms and 100,000 bullets in the last 24 hours, the service said.
The recent events in Ukraine have shown "the escalation of violence and a massive use of firearms by the extremist groups. In many parts of the country, public authorities, military installations and depots with munitions are being seized. Court buildings are burning, the vandals are destroying private property and killing peaceful civilians,” the Ukrainian Security Service head, Aleksandr Yakimenko, said in a statement.
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