Firsthand account of violence in Ukraine

Credit: Eric Turner / KTVB

Slavik Miroshnychenko says clashes in Kiev have turned churches into makeshift hospitals. He lives about 20 minutes from downtown.

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by Bonnie Shelton

Bio | Email | Follow: @BonnieKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on February 21, 2014 at 6:45 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 21 at 12:20 PM

BOISE -- According to reports, a deal has been reached to end the violence between protesters and riot police in Ukraine.

But people who live in and around the capital city of Kiev are still reeling from this week's intense violence.

Slavik Miroshnychenko lives with his wife and son about 20 minutes outside downtown Kiev.

One of our producers at KTVB did some service work in Ukraine and reached out to him for an inside look at what's happening there.

On Thursday, we talked with him from his home using Skype.

"The situation is very serious," he said Thursday.

Miroshnychenko says he doesn't affiliate with any particular group.

He says the violence erupted after a peaceful demonstration in Independence Square.

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Protesters disagree with the President and decision to work with Russia instead of the European Union.

"These people went to the main square to demand something. The President didn't hear that," said Miroshnychenko.

Friday morning, President Viktor Yanukovych offered early elections to try and stop violent clashes in the capital city. Hours later, word broke that protesters accepted that deal.

But reminders of violent clashes can be seen throughout Independence Square.

Slavik Miroshnychenko says this week has been difficult, with so many killed. Others have been injured in the streets.

Hospitals are overflowing and churches have been taking in the wounded.

"Now they're all turned into improvised hospitals," he added.

Also worrisome to people living in and around Kiev, riot police who have been heavily armed and ready to shoot.

"The other riot police they received from their commanders AK-47s so they could just shoot directly to people," said Miroshnychenko.

Miroshnychenko has also seen hundreds of people lined up to donate blood.

So many are willing to help out, there isn't enough staff to collect it all.

Thursday marked the bloodiest day in Kiev with as many as 100 people killed.

We also talked with Slavik Miroshnychenko after the announcement of a deal between protesters and the Ukrainian President. He said he's hopefully both sides will follow through and the violence will end.

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