Ukraine’s unrest: Violence continues despite truce

Kai Ryssdal Feb 20, 2014
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Ukraine’s unrest: Violence continues despite truce

Kai Ryssdal Feb 20, 2014
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What began 3 months ago as a fight over the future of the Ukrainian economy has turned into something much bigger — and more tragic.

We check in with the BBC’s Steven Rosenberg in Kiev.

On the protests ‘ effect on daily life:

“I heard reports today that one supermarket was packed with long lines of shoppers…There is some kind of sense of fear here that the situation is getting out of control. [There are] reports of bank machines, ATMs, being empty, long queues at gas stations. So ordinary life is getting tougher.”

From inside Rosenberg’s hotel:

“The situation is tense. [W]e are very close to the square, and a short while ago some armed protesters came into our hotel armed with pistols and baseball bats and crow bars. They were going floor to floor trying to search rooms looking for snipers because there had been rumors or reports that there were snipers on the roof of our hotel.”

“The whole lobby has been turned into a makeshift field hospital and morgue. Because throughout the day injured protesters have been brought to this field hospital, to our hotel, for treatment. There were a number of bodies on the lobby floor.”

On the unexpected:
As a long-time correspondent in the region, Rosenburg is surprised that the protests would “spill into violence.” He says that Ukraine has withstood political confrontations including the “Orange Revolution” a decade ago without high death counts.

“But there wasn’t violence at that time. And people didn’t die in that revolution,” he says. “So many have died now. [T]hat has been a shock not only for me, of course, but for many people in this country.”

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