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Leonid Bershidsky

The Radical Menace to Ukraine

Bloodshed in Kiev shows President Poroshenko has limited space for compromise with Russia.
Getting ugly.

Getting ugly.

Photographer: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images

A police officer was killed during a protest in Kiev on Monday. It was the first such fatality since Ukraine's "Revolution of Dignity" last year. Radical nationalists, some with weapons, gathered to protest a constitutional amendment proposed by President Petro Poroshenko that would make it possible to reintegrate separatist areas into Ukraine on special terms favorable to Russia.

Although a majority in the Ukrainian parliament voted to support the measures, the street clashes show how difficult it will be to sell the changes to an impoverished, volatile country filled with weapons. President Vladimir Putin appears to be looking for a way out of the mess in eastern Ukraine, but even after more than a year of war, many Ukrainians are unwilling to end the fighting in a way that would be acceptable to Russia.