ukraine tyres
Pro-European integration protesters prepare Molotov cocktails during a rally near government administration buildings in Kiev Reuters

Two people have reportedly been shot dead during clashes between police and protesters in Kiev, Ukraine, Associated Press reported.

Police has so far confirmed only one death, with activists claiming the person was shot dead during the demonstration.

Police said that experts are now working to determine the cause of death for one victim.

The two men died of bullet wounds according to medic Oleh Bonda, who did not specify whether the bullets were rubber or real ones.

Police began dismantling barricades near a government district in Kiev on Wednesday morning, but protesters soon pushed them back to their original positions.

The latest violence follows three nights of fighting that have left hundreds wounded in the Ukrainian capital.

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov told state broadcaster Russia 24 late on Tuesday: "If the provocateurs do not stop, then the authorities will have no other choice but to use force under the law to protect our people."

President Viktor Yanukovych last week signed an array of laws severely limiting protests and banning the wearing of helmets and gas masks. Many of Sunday's demonstrators wore hardhats and masks in defiance of the new laws. They set several police buses on fire, used Motolov cocktails and baseball bats to beat officers.

The escalating violence has caused all sites to warn of civil war in Ukraine.

While Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blamed outside influences for fomenting the violence, Ukrainian politician Arseniy Yatsenyuk argued that the shift in protests tactics has been caused by President Yanukovych's refusal to listen to the protesters' demands.

"People have received the right to switch from peaceful to non-peaceful protests because [of] the deafness of the authorities," Yatsenyuk argued.

According to the head of think-tank Berta Communications, Taras Berezovets, the opposition has very little influence on how the activist are now behaving.

"The 'field commanders' are the ones in charge now," Berezovets explained.

Thousands of Ukrainians have been protesting since late November, feeling betrayed that Yanukovich spurned a trade and investment deal with the European Union. The protests increased after Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich reached a deal with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine requires urgent financial assistance in the coming months to keep the economy stable. Caught between Western powers on one side, and the former Soviet master on the other, Yanukovich admitted that his decision to spur the deal with EU had been influenced by heavy pressure from Russia.

Russia bailed out Ukraine offering a reduction of gas price and agreeing to buy billions of dollars worth of Ukrainian government bonds.

Prospects for an agreement to end the conflict dimmed on Tuesday, when Yanukovych refused to personally meet with leading members of the opposition who were invited for talks.

Vitaly Klitschko sprayed with powder during protests in Kiev against Ukraine's direction and new protest laws
Vitaly Klitschko sprayed with powder during protests in Kiev against Ukraine's direction and new protest laws Reuters