Ukrainian President, Opposition Leaders in Talks as Violence Escalates

At least three protesters found dead recently


With at least two protesters dead from gunshot wounds, and another found beaten to death, talks that opened Wednesday afternoon between President Viktor Yanukovych and the three main leaders of the political opposition are likely to be the last chance to head off a nation-shaking physical confrontation.

Aggressive riot police had put the center of Kiev, with its many thousands of encamped protesters, in a state of considerable tension. Sporadic conflict continued all day outside Dynamo Stadium as protesters, led by a right-wing splinter group, refused to give ground to Interior Ministry troops.