Anti-government protesters pass bricks to each other as they build new barricades after clashes with riot police in Independence Square in Kiev February 20, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
Here is a chronology of the main developments in Ukraine since a political crisis erupted three months ago, leaving around 60 dead:
- 21: Ukrainian authorities suspend talks on an Association Agreement with the European Union in favour of closer economic relations with Russia, prompting pro-European opposition groups to call for protests.
- 1: A crowd of up to 500,000 demonstrators gathers on Kiev's Independence Square, setting up camp and building barricades.
- 11: Security forces move against the protestors but are forced back.
- 17: President Viktor Yanukovych travels to Moscow where he secures a $15-billion bailout deal and a huge price cut for Russian gas.
- 19: Dozens are wounded in bloody clashes between police and protesters in Kiev after 200,000 defy new restrictions on protests.
- 22: Demonstrations continue. Police smash barricades in central Kiev. Protesters hurl rocks and firebombs at police, who respond with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets.
- 28: Prime Minister Mykola Azarov resigns, parliament scraps the anti-protest laws.
- 2: Opposition leaders call for international mediation and Western financial aid in front of more than 60,000 demonstrators in Kiev.
- 4: The opposition calls for concessions at a heated parliament session in which former boxer Vitali Klitschko calls for an "end to the dictatorship".
- 5-6: EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and top US envoy to Europe Victoria Nuland visit Kiev.
- 7: Yanukovych meets his ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
- 9: Some 70,000 protesters gather on Independence Square.
- 10: The EU stops short of any immediate threat of sanctions.
- 14: All 234 protesters who have been arrested since December are released but charges against them remain.
- 16: Protesters evacuate Kiev city hall after occupying the building since December 1, along with other public buildings in the regions. Protesters who were arrested are granted an amnesty the next day. Tens of thousands gather on Independence Square.
- 18/19: 28 people, including 10 police officers, are killed as violence surges on Independence Square. Protestors reoccupy Kiev's city hall. Riot police launch an assault overnight.
- 19: Yanukovych replaces the head of the armed forces and security forces announce an "anti-terrorist" operation. Western powers condemn the violence and threaten sanctions.
- 20: Demonstrators charge a police line in Kiev, shattering a truce called by Yanukovych less than a day earlier. At least 25 protesters are killed, according to AFP correspondents. The interior ministry says two police officers were shot dead.