TODAY   |  February 20, 2014

Truce falls apart in Ukraine, deadly clashes erupt

As a fragile truce collapsed in Ukraine early Thursday, more violence has erupted, leaving at least 10 people dead in overnight clashes. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.

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>> but first we want to get to our top story this morning. we're talking about violence in the ukraine overnight between police and anti-government protesters. richard engel joins us.

>> reporter: good morning, matt. just last night there was talk of a truce. now both sides of playing each other for breaking that truce. from what we could tell this morning, the police were trying to withdraw from their position and then were attacked by the demonstrators and under attack, the police opened fire. around 9:00 a.m . in kiev , riot police retreated from their positions. in pursuit were the anti-government protesters, now advancing out of their fortified camp. we watched at least one policeman dragged away. the protests had been contained. suddenly they had broken out of the square and into the side street . retreating under attack, police got much more violent and protesters started dropping, carried away to any shelter the demonstrators could find. many claim government forces now using snipers, too. protesters have turned this hotel lobby into a field hospital . the injured are still streaming in. we've seen volunteers using bed sheets to treat the wounds and some of the injuries at least appear to have come from ammunition.

>> no supplies have been stored here. the injured given care on the floor. we watched at least three protesters die. by the afternoon, protesters were spreading across downtown kiev and a reported truce appeared over even before it began. right now we are seeing the demonstrators continue to take up positions abandoned by police, spreading their protest camp across much of kiev . matt?

>> richard, be safe. thank you very much.