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    Posted February 22, 2014 by
    ccollison
    Location
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Ukraine unrest

    ccollison and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Ukraine crisis as it unfolds
    More from ccollison

    Somber meeting in Kiev as president flees

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     American ccollison has been working as an assisting editor for a small TV channel in Kiev, Ukraine, for the past two years. He has been documenting the protests in Ukraine through photographs and reports on his blog Leave The West Behind since the unrest began back in November. He photographed the somber mood in Kiev's Maidan on February 22 as people gathered to mourn those who were killed during the unrest.
    - 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.

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