Ukraine's Government Vows to End Protests

Violence erupts in Kiev as deadline passes, crackdown on protesters continues.
3:00 | 02/18/14

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Transcript for Ukraine's Government Vows to End Protests
This is a special group. I'm Michelle Franzen with this ABC news digital report a day of deadly violence leads to an ominous deadline in the Ukrainian capital. City of he -- At least seven people and two policemen were killed -- anti government protesters attempted to march on parliament. Now Ukrainian police say if the protesters don't disperse and -- they will restore order once and for all. Joining us now from Moscow ABC news international affairs correspondent payments McDonald payments thank you very much for joining us we want to take a live look right now -- downtown Ukraine. Of what's become of the Ukraine government security forces deadline we want to show you that looks like security forces are moving in and what can you tell us about this deadline. -- the but the deadline cost just -- now Erica the government had said that it would use any means necessary. Within tool to disperse the crowds remove the -- -- the pictures you're looking -- -- of the Central Square in Kiev the capital of Ukraine. This is being the scene all protests over the last two and a half months sometimes those -- protests have been peaceful sometimes I have -- violent. Today has been the bloodiest day of protests. So Arafat now over the last couple of -- we've been hearing these reports in the pictures we -- now seem to confirm that. That the book -- -- is. -- -- kindness name it for the special operations unit within the police has been moving into that Central Square. They have cleared out some parts of it though not all of us. The underground train system which feeds people into that square has now being shot down that has been in a sense the life blood. -- this protest over the past few months the underground system is -- it is efficient it drew Rosie and protesters. People. -- allegiances to the opposition. -- the center of town and so it has been very possible. For the organizers to mobilize -- numbers of people very quickly. I put out a tweet that put out of Colin FaceBook they get on the radio -- they get on the national television and tell their supporters to coming to town -- get on the on the ground. And that lead truly delivers them right into the center of the city and -- into the middle of that protest zone. And we've got underground system -- shot down by the authorities in Kiev. That makes the situation difficult because as well as preventing the protestors -- more protestors from getting in. It means that those that you can see there right now have no way of getting out quickly that may be -- -- walkout but remember surrounding the square. -- layup off the lead of barricades over the past weeks months. The protesters have been building -- -- off the road barricades -- told. Very wide and very -- Buy lodge that filled with -- or rocks and that has been that -- is a defense. Against the riot squads whenever violence has erupted. That also means that at times like this where them -- may not be crack down. It's very difficult for them to get out. And again came as we want to show you that we are looking at a live picture but we want to go back to some earlier video where those set protest for breaking out in the clashes between. The government as well as those protesters there. And I want to ask you a little bit about what is behind this dispute you mentioned it's been going on for more than two and a half months. Give us an idea of some background on us. -- in incredibly complex picture that the reason this violence has broken out today is very straightforward. The government was putting forward. A new constitution or new version of the constitution. Which is in fact an old constitution. The opposition groups wanted to submit their -- Contributions to that and they sent -- prevented from doing so very quickly things on the street escalates it. More broadly however the opposition movement would like to see the president's. Go to that -- cooling for his resignation for some time. -- -- -- Some offerings -- in the last few weeks by getting creative his prime minister offering that up but that was not enough of this group. At the core of this is the future of the country. The president was negotiating with the European union for an economic. Future. Very much in line with the European Union. But of the -- minute minute changed his position. And sided with Russia Vladimir -- so in essence these very large countries choosing between two different futures. Has decided Russia. What does -- side -- Europe. And -- -- you mentioned that this was a deadline you know issued today was there are real. Big reason is that just because of the escalation of the protests that. -- the government take this hardline stance -- give this deadline today. Yeah as far as we understand that 6 PM deadline that is now -- was issued. In the midst of the chaos this afternoon. Effectively the interior ministry put out a statement saying that the protest -- network -- had until 6 PM to leave. Otherwise. The area would be cleaned out and the -- the occupation. All of the central pots of -- as his -- has been crucial. To this issue that has now dragged on for some months because effectively. It's not being under the control of the government. And this is -- what the opposition has held onto it is used it as leverage throughout the negotiations that have -- and Floyd during that time. But you know as -- can see from the live pictures. The opposition. Supporters the very much in control all of that part of the city. And and analysts the government he's willing to forcibly remove them -- to have any intention of going anyway. And it seems like we're seeing details of that unfold we don't know exactly. How many troops are going in but it does look like there are security forces that are moving into that area where protesters have been camping out. Do you have any idea of the latest casually counts what are you hearing from Moscow. Yet the latest numbers that we've been told an account independently verify this for you that seven people -- being killed seven protestors killed. -- police officers killed. During the violence today. A posts and leasing a number of these still images that have been put out. By the protest organizers. That would indicate a number of civilians have been killed but given the chaos. As -- -- that's very difficult to verify. It is -- noted that the season but -- the bloodiest day on the streets of Kiev. And it comes at an incredibly interesting times. The Olympics are being held right here in Russia Vladimir -- It holds key influence of the president of the Ukraine. I'm what he says does make a difference. The fact that this is all going on the -- turning violent on the doorstep of Russia. Walls. These countries stages the Olympic Games is significant. There is a theory that -- amid recent would have told. The Ukrainian government to hold restraint and certainly a lot of the images that we've seen today it must be said. Show the police -- the riot squads displaying restraint. Because of the focus on Russia and -- region at this time the question was always going to be what would happen -- the Olympics. But the fact that this violence has happened today the fact that there are deaths clearly on both sides it would saint. It is very significant. Famous -- I was going to ask you -- the Russian government has issued any official comment on this so far specially. In light of how everything has unfolded today. None I think at this point they're unlikely to have -- we may hear some kind of statement later on from a foreign official Foreign Ministry official but. And certainly no formal comment from the Russian government they -- -- it is clear up. That he sees the democratically elected government of Ukraine. And that they should remain in place. This is a president that has been ousted in -- -- previously during the Orange Revolution. He then spent -- -- the political wilderness. And was reelected. At the last poll. So Russia would state very clearly this is the democratically elected government of the Ukraine. It has Russia has said time and time again that he sees Europe. Interfering. And that the president should go -- highways such will we know we got a statement from the Kremlin. We -- -- pretty pretty clearly what the position of -- and entries in. And his government in. And -- -- were still watching those live pictures it's a little bit grainy black and whites of that area where the protesters have occupied that position for. More than two and a half months we've learned a little bit about the Ukrainian government give us an idea about the opposition and it's led by a man is no stranger to a good fight he's. Former heavyweight boxing champ Vitaly Klitschko. Yeah what could -- oversee is best known phrase boxing he's a very big map. Serve a couple of weeks ago I think he an event -- unit -- the first thing you notice the is that he's he's effectively giant. But beyond that that's -- -- decides to -- this is a guy that seems to be playing actually a pretty -- political guidance. He's injected himself into the situation. Very cleverly he did run of the last election in kind no win media. Leading the country so the fact that he is now being seen as as a contenders it would -- for the leadership of the Ukraine. -- significant he's done that three maneuvering through tactic. Through strategy throughout this. Period of protests and uprising in the Ukraine. If we are still looking at those pictures and that we -- people in uniform. Moving into the square I can tell you did about that is well because this is the -- cast. That we're looking -- that I the Ukrainian riot police the special operations unit. Much feed the -- that is the name of a good an eagle that if he's only logos it's also the -- -- -- emblem of the country. They have. Very very few cracks that have been out on the street -- months now just the same as the protestors have -- Many of them the young many of them stood out because of the violence that is -- unfolding -- -- recent months. They operate very efficiently very dynamically. I have shields in front of them -- -- you like. -- -- sensitivity as night pushed back in -- woods with the ebb and flow of the violence. But I certainly have a reputation for being unable to strike with force when they told to do so. The thing that struck costs as we walked -- on the streets of -- in recent weeks was just how restrained -- -- -- At times it was the protest is clearly agitated throwing Molotov cocktails. Throwing -- voting objects sitting claims two -- That was -- that were positioned in between. The riot police in the protest -- they did everything they could. Two words your response and other thing that was very clear was that -- -- waiting on what is it was not going to happen. Violence that is from their. Until I got you would so why they are professional -- -- that are serious operation and if indeed it's been moving into the Central Square in -- that would indicate that it's. The pressure will be on these protestors. In the -- off to -- deadline pop. -- -- thank you very much we are watching again that unfold as it happens outside the parliament building. In -- and certainly -- we'll have more tonight on world news with Diane Sawyer. For now this has been an ABC news digital special report a deadly day of violence in the capital of the Ukraine. I'm Michelle Franzen.

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

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