The situation hardly calmed as night descended. Black smoke and bright flames from burning tires continued to rage around Independence Square, just a few blocks from parliament. Small explosions regularly erupted all night -- the product of protesters' fireworks and, perhaps, the stun grenades that police have been using to clear the crowds.
Demonstrators also worked through the night to build up their barricades, by forming human chains to pass bricks, rocks and wood up their front lines in anticipation of another police offensive.
Ukrainian security forces did indeed move forward, despite a barrage of rocks, before halting their advance -- for now, at least.
Kiev was the center of the action, just like it has been all winter, with nine police officers, 11 protesters and an employee from the ruling party's headquarters among those killed, according to officials.
But it wasn't just the capital. Police confirmed the unrest has spread to western Ukraine, with protesters attacking police and local government offices in a number of regions.
Blame game, calls for restraint
Pshonka, Ukraine's prosecutor general, blamed protesters for the violence that he said that -- in addition to those killed -- injured at least 100 others. The organizers of a rally Tuesday that descended into violence will be held accountable "for every single person injured, every car burned and every window broken," he said.
"Today, we were able to see that only the government is interested in peaceful resolution of the situation," Pshonka said. "Opposition leaders should take the responsibility for everything happening in the street of Kiev today."
Opposition leaders painted their supporters as the victims, not the aggressors.
Klitschko, a former world class boxer turned politician, accused police of "cruelly shooting at people in central Kiev."
And Arseniy Yatsenyuk -- an opposition leader from a party other than Klitschko's -- made a public appeal to Yanukovych: "Do not let Ukraine become a country covered with blood. Pull back the police and announce a cease-fire. Then we will negotiate."
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden himself pressed Yanukovych in a phone call, with the White House saying "the government bears special responsibility to de-escalate the situation."
Secretary of State John Kerry later backed up the Vice President's words. He called for the Ukrainian government to halt violence immediately, and reopen dialogue with the opposition.
On the flip side, Russia's state-run RIA Novosti's story on the latest Kiev unrest noted Moscow's persistent support for Yanukovych and its accusation -- made earlier this week from foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich -- that Washington is trying to tell "the authorities of a sovereign state what they should do next and how they should do it."
Such international back-and-forth is especially significant in the Ukraine, given not only its geographic and political position betwixt Europe and Russia and the origins of the latest unrest.
It began in November with Yanukovych's decision to scuttle an European Union trade pact that the opposition hoped would bring the Ukraine closer to the West, and improve its economy in the process.
The next month, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would buy $15 billion in Ukrainian debt and slash the price Kiev pays for its gas.
As the months rolled on, the conflict expanded beyond the long-simmering discord over whether Ukraine should align more with the West or with Russia.
The opposition has pressed to change how the Eastern European nation's government operates, namely through constitutional and other reforms that would -- among other things -- shift powers away from its president and toward parliament.