(Agence France-Presse) On Kiev's now iconic Independence Square, bare-chested Cossacks fiercely beat the war drums: Ukrainian authorities have just put the army on high alert in the face of a threat of a Russian invasion.
"They have de facto declared war on us," former interior minister Yuriy Lutsenko shouts to a crowd of thousands on the central stage nearby, not far from where dozens of anti-government protesters fell under the bullets of riot police last week in bloodshed that precipitated the fall of Russia-backed president Viktor Yanukovych.
Hundreds of kilometres away in Moscow, unhappy with the formation of a new government in the wake of Yanukovych's ouster, the parliament has only just authorised the deployment of Russian troops in Ukraine.
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Among the crowds of anti-Yanukovych protesters who have occupied Independence Square for more than three months, Ukrainians look on, their faces sombre but expressing little surprise.