Hotel Ukraine 'is now an emergency ward' - RTÉ's Paul Cunningham

Thursday 20 February 2014 20.06
Bodies lined up in the lobby of Kiev's Hotel Ukraine
Bodies lined up in the lobby of Kiev's Hotel Ukraine

RTÉ's Paul Cunningham reports on a violent, deadly morning in Kiev.

Doctors at Hotel Ukraine, which was at the centre of some of the violent clashes in Kiev this morning, say 12 dead protesters are now in their make-shift morgue.

The hotel overlooks Independence Square and the surrounding area has now been taken over by protesters.

This morning our hotel became an emergency ward when injured protesters began to receive medical attention in the lobby - mostly for gunshot wounds.

Outside, protesters had moved up from Independence Square and retaken territory that police had only secured on Tuesday.

Within an hour it was clear that there had been multiple deaths; doctors say 12 people died in this small area alone.

Protesters have erected new barricades, claiming they came under sniper fire while doing so.

However, armed protesters were also seen on the streets near the hotel.

Today was supposed to be about a truce and peace talks.

At the Hotel Ukraine, it was a war zone.

This morning, a stream of injured protesters arrived at the hotel.

The hotel lobby soon became a makeshift emergency ward, with medics treating protesters reportedly shot by police.

As bodies were laid out on the  floor, prayers were said for the dead.

As the day progressed, demonstrators erected more barricades in front of the hotel. 

The situation remains volatile, and most expect the death toll to rise. 

Follow RTÉ's Paul Cunningham on Twitter @RTENewsPaulC