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Did Ukraine Government Forces Target Protesters?

<p>New video purports to show that gunfire by government forces during Thursday's deadly battle with protesters in Ukraine's capital was deliberate.</p>
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KIEV — New video appears to show that gunfire by government forces during Thursday's deadly battle with protesters here in the capital of Ukraine was more deliberate and targeted than previously known.

The video, taken by privately owned Ukraina TV and posted online Sunday, shows a group of well-armed government forces calmly maneuvering and shooting during the bloody clashes with protesters that left nearly 80 people dead.

"Do we have permission?" one of security forces asks repeatedly. No answer can be heard on the video.

The video, which according to Ukraina TV was taken around 10 a.m. Thursday, shows security forces moving tactically around government buildings near Independence Square, communicating on radios and opening fire in the direction of anti-government demonstrators.

A security expert told NBC News some of the uniformed forces appear to have been organized into three-man sniper teams and armed with high-powered Dragunov and Russian-made Orsis rifles.

During Thursday’s fighting, protesters told NBC News that they were under attack by snipers. NBC News reporters heard the distinctive sound of high-velocity ammunition, and witnessed injuries unmistakably caused by live rounds.

Medical officials say around 77 demonstrators were killed on Thursday.

The deaths marked a turning point in the Ukrainian revolution.Two days later, protesters took control of Kiev.

Ukraine’s new interim government is investigating the bloodshed. Interior minister Arsen Avakov announced Monday that president Viktor Yanukovych is wanted for mass murder.

NBC News has reached out to Avakov for comment on the videos. The news service of the interior ministry has not answered calls by NBC News.

The video was shared online Sunday by a Ukraina TV reporter, Roman Sukhan, who along with his crew reported Thursday at the scene of the gunfight from a position behind police lines.

In his Facebook post Sunday, Sukhan wrote that he released the video so Ukrainian officials could see it.

"I am publishing this video, which to my mind is extremely important," Sukhan wrote. "I ask for maximum repost, so it makes it to the necessary chiefs of law enforcement agencies."

Sukhan says the deaths of a group of protesters positioned at a forward barricade Thursday were the result of the gunfire documented in his footage.

"It's on their conscience," Sukhan said of the deaths, referring to police.