- Posted February 22, 2014 by
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Somber meeting in Kiev as president flees
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
Tens of thousands of people gathered in Kiev's main square as Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych fled the city and the parliament voted for early elections. But there was little celebration as protesters held more funerals for those killed in the violence earlier in the week.
Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who had been imprisoned in the eastern city of Kharkiv since 2011, addressed the crowd gathered on Independence Square only a few hours after being freed. Some protesters held signs reading, "we are very happy for you, Yulia Vladimirovna. Now go to hell."
Many have expressed deep skepticism toward opposition leaders, saying they don't trust them to fulfill the demands of the people.
Police were virtually absent from the streets of Kiev on Saturday. In their place, groups of protesters armed with hockey gear and batons directed traffic and patrolled the streets to keep order.