Under Fire in Ukraine: Kiev Is a Combat Zone

What started as a peaceful protest in Kiev exploded into bloodshed, with dozens dead.
3:00 | 02/21/14

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Transcript for Under Fire in Ukraine: Kiev Is a Combat Zone
For weeks this European capital has been the scene of violent uprising. -- Yet more than seventy dead and counting we are not the Derrius three people that that went to leave in the -- in the -- -- through without. -- -- -- -- -- who -- those of us live in Ukraine once a nuclear power that was part of the Soviet Union is divided. At a crossroads. Caught between its past and the future. Pitting east against west got -- and it sure -- president is accused of corruption and human rights abuses. Kind -- turned the country closer Vladimir Putin's Russia. If we can really defeat us. Europe will get -- look the problems because there's something like -- assist -- Real -- the game but opposition forces who now set up -- -- -- he had independence square. Say they want to follow the -- of Europe and America. -- -- to democracy and rights of the west. Telling us it was willing to die -- how do you think this orphanage. Withdrawing the one -- We must to win and we must -- -- in the country which -- via but also was -- Basic rules of fuel pool -- and mobile phone. What deflecting foot 200 -- -- -- reflected closes today. Yes this is your -- Yes just 24 hours ago there had been a glimmer of hope as the troops was announced. -- -- that went fast. Running out. Government security forces. You see that -- They've announced a truce but now by throwing grenades and since this is what they mean by treason. We don't trust them this morning ABC news cameras. Brutal scenes protesters gunned down by security forces. Activist running for their aid. Coming under fire themselves. Snipers lurking in windows. The last night was fighting. To get weapons will suit -- it was that will eliminate these animals wouldn't just affect. Protesters were also firing on police with live ammunition and were reported to have captured almost seventy members of the -- Journalists were not immune from attack. And vantage point coming under assault by a sniper. Bullets bursting through the window producer Matt. I was just sitting over on that side of the room working on my laptop and suddenly there is allowed. Glass shattered everywhere I hit the floor when turnarounds of -- -- by afternoon more than seventy people had been killed. And makeshift clinics were filled the hundreds -- dead and wounded. This is very surreal this is the lobby one of the nicest hotels in Ukraine and it's now been turned. Into a battlefield clinic you can see the doctors here -- working with whatever they have turning dining tables and -- operating tables. The reception into a pharmacy yeah. Today was supposed to be a day of mourning for those killed earlier in the week. Instead it became the bloodiest day in Ukraine's post Soviet history. The bullets come directly to heart. -- -- We just they're -- emergency. What we have no chance. To save their life. Opposition movement began peacefully this past November response -- Ukraine's democratically elected president. Strengthening its ties with Russia. But what had looked like a revolution. Now has the makings of a civil war protests spreading across the country. Much of which supports the president in his pro Russia stance. Here and yet in recent days -- Don. Independence square has turned into a full scale war zone. Running battle. He -- barricades Molotov cocktails. Homemade bombs launched -- government -- Riot forces. It is a stark post apocalyptic scene. As we saw when we arrive today. This is an amazing sight in 1 of eastern Europe's biggest and most picturesque city -- -- these beautiful monuments. Right next to these barricades -- -- -- set up and maintained for months by the protesters. It's like a combination of mid evil and mad Max the encampment works like this small village some thinking on an open fire flow others -- gas pumps. It's quiet for now but it's very tense everyone's just sort of milling about everyone has their helmets on. Tonight we saw the victims of the fighting up close. Their bodies carried through a surging crowd on the square and they chanted heroes. Singing anthems in memory of the fallen. The west is now rallying its forces to try to stop the bloodshed. The White House following Europe in announcing tonight the US will impose sanctions on Ukrainian officials it believes are directly responsible for the violence. But for now Ukraine's president isn't budging both sides are digging in setting the scene for more bloodshed. This threatens to scare this country apart. For Nightline I'm Alex McCord -- yet.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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