As of January 22nd, 2014, 3 people have now died in increasingly violent clashes between protesters and police in Kiev. Things turned violent after the government passed a set of laws on January 16 that potentially severely limit freedom of speech in Ukraine. The laws were quickly forced through without following proper voting procedures.
Who exactly is behind the violent elements in the standoff with "Berkut" special forces is unclear — provocateurs or genuine protesters. The Ukrainian Internet is filled with inside reports and rumors, and information from government sources paints a very different pictures.
My friends in Kiev are all very concerned. They fear that Ukraine is rapidly being taken down a "Belarussian scenario" towards a Kremlin-controlled dictatorship.