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Kyiv Hospitals Overflowing With Wounded, Maimed

Antigovernment protesters carry an injured man on a stretcher after clashes with riot police on Independence Square in Kyiv on February 20.
Antigovernment protesters carry an injured man on a stretcher after clashes with riot police on Independence Square in Kyiv on February 20.
KYIV -- Ukrainian medics are working around the clock to treat people wounded in violent street battles between police and antigovernment protesters.

Dozens have died and more than 1,500 have been injured in Kyiv since the three-month-old protests descended into bloodshed on February 18. It has been the worst violence in Ukraine's 22-year post-Soviet history.

According to Mykola Diomin, the chief doctor at Kyiv's hospital No. 17, many of the victims were killed by bullets.

He described some of the latest casualities for reporters at a news conference.

"A bullet entered through the eye and lodged itself in the brain," he said. "Another man died after a bullet entered his thorax and pierced his lung and his liver. In a third case, the liver and the spleen were hit. A fourth person died from a head injury following a blow."

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A steady stream of wounded and maimed people are being brought to Kyiv hospitals. Both sides in the conflict have accused the other of using live ammunition.

Anatoliy, a protester, suffered serious injuries to both his legs after being hit by a grenade.

"I was left without trousers, I had been wearing shoes," he told RFE/RL from his hospital bed. "My padded jacket saved me. I came to my senses two meters away, without shoes, with my trousers shredded."

WATCH: A wounded man describes a police stun grenade attack in Kyiv
Wounded Man Describes Police Stun Grenade Attack In Kyiv
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Medics say they have been working in war-like conditions, retrieving the dead and the injured amid a shower of bullets, stun grenades, and cobble stones.

Several field hospitals have been hastily deployed near Independence Square, where protesters have been camped out since late November, including in a local cathedral.

Chief Euromaidan medic Olha Bogomolets says citizens have come forward en masse to offer their help and donate medicine, bandages, and even blood.

Despite wearing clothing and helmets clearly identifying them as health workers, medics have not been spared by the violence. Several medics are reportedly among the casualties.

Euromaidan volunteer Olga Aivazovska says one of them had his hand blown off by a grenade.

Aivazovska helped rush him to a Kyiv hospital, where he is currently being treated in an intensive care unit.

"One of his hands was torn off and the other one sustained severe burns," she said. "His chest and abdomen are badly injured, and part of his face is also damaged. February 19 was his birthday. All he managed to tell us was his name and his mother's contact details."

Oleksandr Lashchenko reported from Kyiv. Claire Bigg reported and wrote from Prague