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Kiev in Flames

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Editor's Note: Some of these images contain graphic content.

Fresh fighting broke out Thursday in Kiev just hours after a shaky truce declared by Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich, as anti-government protesters sought to reclaim parts of Independence Square from police. In the early morning, a group of young men reportedly surged at riot police officers who fired back with shotguns. The protesters ultimately took back the square but not without losses -- Thursday's round of clashes bring the total reported death toll to 75. Hundreds of others have been injured, and the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said that 67 police officers have been captured by protesters. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk voiced concern on Wednesday to rising fears that the continuing violence could spiral into civil war.

After a momentary promise of reprieve from an amnesty deal over the weekend, Kiev fell into the deadliest spate of violence since protests began in November and the clashes were only rising. The besieged anti-government camp in Independence Square tore down tents and makeshift structures on Wednesday to feed the "ring of fire" that held back the police after incursions the day before that had left some 241 injured, according to official figures. On Tuesday, only a day after Russia announced a $2 billion lifeline to President Viktor Yanukovych, anti-government protesters nudged out of their 20,000-strong camp-city in Independence Square and clashed with riot police, hurling paving stones and Molotov cocktails at government forces who returned fire with rubber bullets and percussion grenades, beginning a series of escalating battles. Protesters reoccupied government buildings they had vacated days earlier. By night the square was in flames. Just before 8pm, armored personnel carriers attempted to breach the barricades, and a column of riot police broke through the lines near the Ukraina Hotel, bringing the fight into the camp. "We see that this regime started shooting at people again," shouted a prominent opposition leader, Arseniy Yatseniuk, from a stage in the square as police advanced. "They want to drown Ukraine in blood.... We won't react on a single one of their provocations. But we won't make any single step back from here, from this Maidan."

Above, anti-government protester sits on the Founders of Kiev monument during clashes with riot police in central Kiev on Feb. 20.

LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images

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Anti-government protesters rebuild barricades following continued clashes with police in Independence Square, despite a truce agreed between the Ukrainian president and opposition leaders on Feb. 20 in Kiev, Ukraine.

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

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A protester stands behind barricades during clashes with police on Feb. 20 in Kiev.

BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

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Dead bodies lay on the ground surrounded by fellow anti-government protesters during clashes with riot police in central Kiev on Feb. 20.

ALEXANDER CHEKMENEV/AFP/Getty Images

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Protesters catch fire as they stand behind burning barricades during clashes with police on Feb. 20.

BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

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A priest holds a cross and shield during clashes between anti-government protesters and riot police in central Kiev on Feb. 20.

SERGEY GAPON/AFP/Getty Images

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Dead bodies lay on the ground surrounded by fellow anti-government protesters in central Kiev on Feb. 20.

ALEXANDER CHEKMENEV/AFP/Getty Images

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Riot police face anti-government protesters during clashes in central Kiev on Feb. 20.

SERGEY GAPON/AFP/Getty Images

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Anti-government protesters hold a riot policeman captive during clashes in central Kiev on Feb. 20.

SERGEY GAPON/AFP/Getty Images

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An anti-government protester takes cover from suspected sniper fire near the Hotel Ukraine on Feb. 20 in Kiev, Ukraine.

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

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A demonstrator stands on a balcony overlooking Independence square is seen during the face-off against heavily armed police on Feb. 20 in Kiev.

BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

Anti-government protesters clash with police in Independence Square in Kiev on Feb. 19 in Kiev, Ukraine.

Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

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Anti-government protesters clash with police in Independence Square in Kiev on Feb. 19.

Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

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An anti-government protester guards the barricades on Independence Square on Feb. 19 in Kiev, Ukraine.

Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

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A protester throws tires to keep a barrier of flames between protesters and police at Independence square in Kiev on Feb. 19.

LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images

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An anti-government protester wearing a helmet stands on Independence Square in Kiev during clashes with the police early on Feb. 19.

SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

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Berkut special forces clash with anti-government protesters on Independence Square in Kiev on Feb. 19.

Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

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Berkut special forces, an elite riot police force, throw a Molotov cocktail during clashes with anti-government protesters on Independence Square in Kiev on Feb. 19 in Kiev, Ukraine.

Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

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Berkut special forces gather during clashes with anti-government protesters on Independence Square in Kiev on Feb. 19.

Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

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Anti-government protesters wearing hoods and helmets stand behind a barricade during clashes with police in Independence Square in Kiev on Feb. 19.

GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images

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Anti-government protesters clash with police on Independence Square in Kiev on Feb. 19. At least 26 people have been killed and hundreds injured as violence once again flared between police and anti-government protesters after several weeks of calm. The anti-government protesters are calling for the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych over corruption and an abandoned trade agreement with the European Union.

Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

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Anti-government protesters walk amid debris and flames near the perimeter of Independence Square, known as Maidan, on Feb. 19.

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

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An auditorium inside the Trade Unions Building, which has served as the de facto headquarters for the anti-government protest movement, is filled with smoke and flames as it burns on Feb. 19.

Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

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Anti-government protesters clash with the police during their storming of Independence Square in Kiev on Feb. 18.

SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

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Anti-government protesters clash with the police as they storm Independence Square in Kiev on Feb, 18. Riot police tried to force demonstrators out following the bloodiest clashes in three months of protests.

GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images

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Flames and smoke engulf the main anti-government protest camp in Independence Square in Kiev, on Feb. 18.

SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

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Anti-government protesters clash with the police on Feb. 18.

GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images

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Anti-government protesters pull bricks from the ground on Feb. 18.

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Anti-government demonstrators throw Molotov cocktails in central Kiev on Feb. 18.

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Anti-government demonstrators clash with riot police in central Kiev on Feb. 18.

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Policemen try to avoid flames from Molotov cocktails during clashes with anti-government protesters in front of the Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev on Feb. 18. Police fired rubber bullets and responded with smoke bombs after protesters hurled paving stones at them near the parliament building on Tuesday.

ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP/Getty Images

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Policemen evacuate a wounded colleague during clashes with anti-government protesters in Kiev on Feb. 18.

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Anti-government demonstrators stand among burning barricades during clashes with riot police in Kiev on Feb. 18.

SANDRO MADDALENA/AFP/Getty Images

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Policemen stand in front of the Ukrainian parliament building during clashes with anti-government protesters in Kiev on Feb. 18.

ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP/Getty Images

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Anti-government protesters "detain" a police officer in the center of Kiev on Feb. 18.

SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

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