Nightly News | January 22, 2014
>>> neighboring ukraine, where anti-government protests exploded again today with a violent crackdown by the government on the former soviet republic . at least two people were killed today. parts of kiev were turned into a war zone , we get our report from ayman mohyeldin.
>> reporter: today, the streets of kiev became a battlefield. riot police , shield and batons in hands, moving in to break up an anti-government protest camp . after days of violent clashes, the fighting turned deadly. the first fatalities since these troubles began months ago. police were seen beating protesters, firing tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd. in the chaos, an orthodox priest stands between the two sides and prays. but the two sides were prepared, they fought back, throwing bombs to the police who could barely see through the smoke. the protests began in december, when the government decided to abandon an economic deal with the european union . instead, they want stronger ties with russia, who has consistently backed him. in kiev , the government told us they were worried that the police would use violence to break up their peaceful sit-ins, tonight, their fears are a reality, as occupancy leaders warn crowds not to give up control of the square. weeks of talks between the two have gone nowhere, and now, the fight for the future of kiev will now play out in the streets. ayman mohyeldin. nbc news.