European Union foreign ministers have agreed to impose sanctions on Ukrainian officials "responsible for violence and excessive force". In a statement, they said that targeted sanctions including asset freezes and visa bans would be introduced "as a matter of urgency".
The White House said Thursday that the US is outraged by violence in Ukraine and is urging President Viktor Yanukovych to withdraw forces from downtown Kiev immediately.
Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the US urges Ukraine’s military not to get involved in a conflict that must be resolved politically. He said that the White House is outraged at images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic guns on Ukrainian people.
Carney said in a statement that Ukraine should respect the right of protest and that protesters must be peaceful. The statement further called for dialogue to reduce tensions and address the people’s grievances.
Street battles between protesters and police have left dozens dead and hundreds wounded. The US has already threatened sanctions against Kiev.
The following graphic and disturbing videos show police snipers firing at protesters, and protesters being hit by sniper fire.
At least 70 people have reportedly been killed after police fired live rounds at anti-government protesters near Independence Square in Ukraine's capital Kiev. The official death toll Thursday evening was 39, but opposition sources said the true number had reached 100.
The claim was made by doctors working with the activists, and cited by news agencies. Hundreds more demonstrators have been injured.
Meanwhile, protesters have taken 67 police officers hostage, according to the interior ministry.