17 Photos From Ukraine That Are Absolutely Unbelievable

UkraineAP/Efrem LukatskyRiot police clash with anti-government protesters outside Ukraine’s parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014.

Anti-government protests in Ukraine reached their most violent point on Tuesday, with at least 18 people killed and hundreds injured following violent clashes between police and opposition activists.

There’s little sign the protests — which have been ongoing since December — will end any time soon, but it’s hard to imagine seeing such jarring images continuing to emerge from the streets of Kiev.

From riot police using ancient military tactics to defend against attack to streets quite literally engulfed in flames, the photos coming out are totally insane.

Reuters photographers have been documenting the protests, and we’ve picked out the ones that show how crazy it really is on the ground.

The anti-government protesters remain defiant, with one opposition leader saying, 'we will not leave here. This is an island of freedom. We will defend it.'

An anti-government protester gestures towards riot police during clashes in Independence Square in Kiev February 18, 2014. Ukrainian riot police advanced on Tuesday onto a central Kiev square occupied by protesters, after at least 14 people died in the worst day of violence since demonstrations erupted against President Viktor Yanukovich 12 weeks ago.

Kiev streets have been burning throughout the protests.

Anti-government protesters take cover behind shields during clashes with riot police at the Independence Square in Kiev February 18, 2014. Ukrainian riot police started to move into Kiev's Independence Square late on Tuesday, pushing back anti-government protesters whose tents were burning, local television showed.

Leading to some incredible fireworks amid the violence.

Fireworks explode near anti-government protester during clashes with riot police at the Independence Square in Kiev February 18, 2014. Ukrainian riot police advanced on Tuesday onto a central Kiev square occupied by protesters, after at least 14 people died in the worst day of violence since demonstrations erupted against President Viktor Yanukovich 12 weeks ago.

Protesters have used slingshots, thrown rocks, and Molotov cocktails.

A protester uses a slingshot during clashes with police in Kiev February 18, 2014. Anti-government protesters clashed violently with police in central Kiev on Tuesday, a day after Moscow moved to cement its influence over Ukraine with $US2 billion in cash to shore up the former Soviet state's heavily indebted economy. A parliamentary deputy said on Facebook that three demonstrators had been killed, and Ukrainian television said five protesters had been hurt in the clashes. Neither report could immediately be confirmed.

While crude, the mixture of flammable liquid inside the bottle of a Molotov cocktail has proven very effective.

Anti-government protesters throw missiles during clashes with riot police at the Independence Square in Kiev February 18, 2014. Ukrainian riot police started to move into Kiev's Independence Square late on Tuesday, pushing back anti-government protesters whose tents were burning, local television showed.

They need to be thrown fast, otherwise it could blow up in someone's hand.

An anti-government protester prepares to throw a petrol bomb during clashes with riot police at Independence Square in Kiev February 18, 2014. Ukrainian riot police advanced on Tuesday onto a central Kiev square occupied by protesters, after at least 14 people died in the worst day of violence since demonstrations erupted against President Viktor Yanukovich 12 weeks ago.

While riot police use ancient military tactics and shields to defend themselves.

Interior Ministry members take cover behind shields during clashes with anti-government protesters in Kiev February 18, 2014. Several thousand anti-government protesters clashed with police near Ukraine's parliament on Tuesday, torching vehicles and hurling stones in the worst violence to rock the capital Kiev in more than three weeks.

But riot shields don't stand up to flames.

Riot policemen stand guard as they are hit by fire caused by molotov cocktails hurled by anti-government protesters during clashes in Kiev February 18, 2014. Ukrainian riot police charged protesters occupying a central Kiev square early on Wednesday after the bloodiest day since the former Soviet republic, caught in a geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West, won its independence more than 22 years ago. At least 18 people, including seven policemen, died on Tuesday during hours of violence between security forces and civilians who have staged protests against President Viktor Yanukovich since last November.

The protests have gotten much worse since the Ukraine government gave protesters an ultimatum to disperse or face 'tough measures.'

Ukranian riot police take cover behind their shields during clashes with anti-government protesters near Independence Square in Kiev February 18, 2014. Ukrainian riot police advanced on Tuesday onto a central Kiev square occupied by protesters, after at least 14 people died in the worst day of violence since demonstrations erupted against President Viktor Yanukovich 12 weeks ago.

In response, the Right Sector, a radical far-right group, called for protestors to arm themselves.

Anti-government protesters aim their weapons during clashes with riot police at Independence Square in Kiev February 18, 2014. Ukrainian riot police advanced on Tuesday onto a central Kiev square occupied by protesters, after at least 14 people died in the worst day of violence since demonstrations erupted against President Viktor Yanukovich 12 weeks ago.

Riot police continue to try and quell the pandemonium ...

Riot policemen approach anti-government protesters during clashes at the Independence Square in Kiev February 18, 2014. Ukrainian riot police charged protesters occupying a central Kiev square early on Wednesday after the bloodiest day since the former Soviet republic, caught in a geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West, won its independence.

They sometimes fight back with tear gas ...

A masked protester is seen in front of thick smoke from burning vehicles during clashes with police in Kiev February 18, 2014. Ukrainian riot police advanced on the heart of 12-week-old protests against President Viktor Yanukovich on Tuesday and security forces set a deadline to end disturbances after at least five protesters were reported killed in a day of clashes.

But many protesters are ready for that.

An anti-government protester wears a gas mask during clashes with Interior Ministry members in Kiev February 18, 2014. Several thousand anti-government protesters clashed with police near Ukraine's parliament on Tuesday, torching vehicles and hurling stones in the worst violence to rock the capital Kiev in more than three weeks.

They have also taken to beating them with clubs and kicks.

Riot police beat an anti-government protester during clashes in Kiev February 18, 2014. Ukrainian riot police charged protesters occupying a central Kiev square early on Wednesday after the bloodiest day since the former Soviet republic, caught in a geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West, won its independence.

So far, hundreds have been injured.

Riot policemen detain wounded people after clashes in central Kiev February 18, 2014. Ukrainian riot police charged protesters occupying a central Kiev square early on Wednesday after the bloodiest day since the former Soviet republic, caught in a geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West, won its independence more than 22 years ago. At least 18 people, including seven policemen, died on Tuesday during hours of violence between security forces and civilians who have staged protests against President Viktor Yanukovich since last November.

And the ugliness doesn't seem like it will come to a close anytime soon.

An anti-government protester throws a tire during clashes with riot police at the Independence Square in Kiev February 18, 2014. Ukrainian riot police charged protesters occupying a central Kiev square early on Wednesday after the bloodiest day since the former Soviet republic, caught in a geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West, won its independence.

For now, the struggle to move toward the EU or Russia continues to play out.

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