Violence continued overnight in Ukraine as police tried to break up protesters in Kiev’s Independence Square and regain control of the area.

Embattled President Viktor Yanukovych blamed opposition leaders for the recent upsurge in violence, and ally Russia described an attempted coup.

However, the EU expressed little doubt that the government were to blame and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said “targeted” sanctions would be discussed at an emergency meeting on Thursday.

Individually, EU members states have also expressed concern about the recent tide of violent repression which has left 26 people dead, with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt saying that President Yanukovych had “blood on his hands”.

In a joint press conference German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the German people stood “side by side with the men and women who suffer” while French president Francois Hollande threatened sanctions.

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