"There were snipers all around Independence Square - according to photographic evidenceand audio recordings. That would suggest that Thursday's violence against protesters in Central Kiev was pre-meditated. It makes the question of whether someone fired at riot police, forcing them to retreat, or whether riot police simply withdrew from the area of the Square they had occupied in order to lure the protesters into the trap, irrelevant. Either way it was a trap.
All night, despite a truce announced by Ukraine's opposition leaders and President Viktor Yanukovych after talks, tensions had been kept high, and protesters present in large numbers, by the persistent use of stun grenades.
Around 9am a group of protesters came up Instytutska Street from the Square, and that's when the shooting started. Kalashnikovs were used immediately by police officers on the ground. Some of the protesters, members of the Samooborona defence units, had air rifles and pistols (since January it has not been accurate to call this an entirely peaceful protest). Most, though, did not. Yet they kept pushing forward.
And then it became clear that not all the bullets flying were coming from visible gunmen in the skirmishes on the Instytutska Street hill and around the October Palace above it. They were coming from up above, or far away.
Wounded people began to be taken in to the lobby of the Ukraina Hotel for treatment, where first there were scenes of panic, then horror as the first of the wounded died in the lobby.
Then there was panic again. Members of the self-defence units rushed into the hotel and upstairs, shouting that there were snipers in the building itself. Protesters in the adjecent street said gunshots had come from the upper floors. They set about hunting for the culprits within the hotel - full of the international press corps who had descended on the Ukraine en masse in a third wave since December.
That, briefly, appears to have made the hotel itself a target - at least two bullets flew into the building from the area where the riot police had regrouped, behind it. That must mean either the Ukrainian regime does not control its own riot police officers, or it does not care what the world thinks. Neither thought is comforting.
Despite the ongoing battle though, a scheduled meeting between Mr Yanukovych and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland did take place, at the Presidential Administration building on Bankova Street. They may well have been able to hear the gunfire from inside the building - it was not far away. The meeting went on for more than five hours, with a small group of journalists growing ever more perplexed and cold as they waited on the other side of the police lines from the Administration. During all of this time, the fighting continued.
Back on Independence Square though, panic and horror had given way somewhat to the solidarity and energy that has been astonishing the world since the start of Ukraine's protest movement. The Ukraina hotel was turned into a field hospital, as were numerous cafés and restaurants around the area. Equipment soon arrived.
Despite transport restrictions and the eminently justified fear of being shot dead, thousands of unarmed men and women, with none of the protective clothing the journalists are all wearing, of all ages and all walks of life arrived to help the wounded or help build new barricades.
The result is that dozens of people are dead and more and more Ukrainians are determined to see Mr Yanukovych leave office, being in fear for their lives if he does not. The EU is (finally, Ukrainians gasp) introducing sanctions. Reports are coming in from both Kiev's airports of overcrowded VIP lounges as associates of the regime try to leave. Ukraine's parliement voted unanimously on resolutions to stop the violence, with the participation of some (though by no means all - the quorum was only just reached) members of Mr Yanukovych's Party of Regions. Either the Ukrainian president's plan is backfiring spectacularly, or it has untold sinister phases to come."