Police shot and killed two three protesters in violent clashes on Wednesday between stick-wielding demonstrators and security forces in Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine. A third protester died after a fall.
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov blamed the deaths on opposition leaders and claimed that the police did fire live bullets.
The violence escalated after three days of protests over the two-month-old political crisis, which worsened when President Viktor Yanukovych changed course from an expected signing of a long-anticipated cooperation deal with the European Union.
The clashed were sparked by his success in passing legislation against protesters.