Two months of largely peaceful protests in Kiev, Ukraine, turned violent today, leaving a reported 3 protesters dead. Demonstrators are angry at the government for snubbing a chance for membership in the European Union in favor of a closer relationship with Russia, which offered the country a substantial bailout.

[Protesters prepare to clash with police in central Kiev on Wednesday. Image via Efrem Lukatsky/AP.]

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[A protester points a handgun during a clash with police in central Kiev on Wednesday. Image via Efrem Lukatsky/AP.]

[Footage of the protests was streamed on EspressoTV earlier today. Image via @nycjim/Twitter.]

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[Protesters clash with police in central Kiev early Wednesday morning. Image via Evgeny Feldman/AP.]

[Protesters clash with police in central Kiev on Wednesday. Three people have died in clashes between protesters and police, according to medics on the site. Image via Sergei Chuzavkov/AP.]

[A protester throws a Molotov cocktail during clashes with police in central Kiev on Wednesday. Image via Efrem Lukatsky/AP.]

[Tires burn in the street, set alight by protesters in clashes with police in central Kiev on Wednesday. Police tore down protester barricades and chased demonstrators away from the site of violent clashes. Image via Sergei Grits/AP.]

[Protesters in Kiev burn a Soviet flag during clashes with police on Wednesday. Image via @MSR_int/Twitter.]

[A protester waves a Ukrainian national flag in front of police line in central Kiev on Wednesday. Image via Sergei Grits/AP.]

[lead image via Darko Vojinovic/AP.]