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Priests give Last Rites under gunfire in Kiev uprising

 Prayers are held for victims who have died during anti-government protests in Kiev, Ukraine.
Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Orthodox priests, at times carrying a cross and shield, walk under fire during the clashes between protesters and riot police Wednesday in Kiev.

Placed in the heart of the turmoil in Ukraine's bloody uprising, several priests stood alongside protesters amid street clashes which left dozens dead in central Kiev, performing blessings and delivering the last rites to those who were killed.

NBC News reports anti-government protesters in Kiev have been gathering inside the Mikhailovsky Zlatoverkhy Cathedral, also known as St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, which has been serving as a temporary shelter and a first-aid post since February 19.

Poland’s E.U. minister, Radosław Sikorski, tweeted a vivid picture of the crisis Thursday while traveling through the fiery remains of Kiev for a meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.

“Black smoke, detonations and gunfire around presidential palace,” Sikorski posted. “Meeting moved to another location. Officials panicky.”

Neighboring countries, such as Poland, have expressed their concern that Ukraine was teetering towards civil war they will need to prepare for a wave of refugees.

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