Update: 10:21 p.m. E.T.
Hundreds of police entered a protest camp in the center of Kiev on Tuesday, clashing with protesters as they tried to remove barricades, the Associated Press reports. As the police move in on Independence Square, protesters are reportedly shouting “Shame!” and “We will stand” as well as singing the Ukrainian national anthem. A voice on the live stream of the scene, available here, said, “They’re using a motorized saw to cut the barricade, and they are dismantling it piece by piece,” but there have been no reports of outright violence, according to HromadskeTV Online.
Two top Western diplomats — European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland — had visited the city today to try to defuse the weeks-long stand-off between the opposition and President Viktor Yanukovych. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement late Tuesday night saying the Ukrainian response to the protests “is neither acceptable nor does it befit a democracy.”
“For weeks, we have called on President Yanukovych and his government to listen to the voices of his people who want peace, justice and a European future,” continued Kerry. “Instead, Ukraine’s leaders appear tonight to have made a very different choice. We call for utmost restraint. Human life must be protected. Ukrainian authorities bear full responsibility for the security of the Ukrainian people.”
The protests began in late November after the President retreated from a pact that would strengthen the former Soviet republic’s economic ties with the E.U. — a pact that was supported by half the country, according to surveys. The pact would make the Ukraine more closely aligned with the West and would be a loss of face for Russia.
You can watch an English-language live stream from the camp here:
This post has been updated to reflect news that the police are dismantling the barricade with a saw.