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Kiev’s Independence Square in Ukraine

Kiev’s Independence Square in Ukraine

Before & After: Kiev’s Independence Square in Ukraine


This powerful image of Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine is a stark illustration of the current events unfolding in real time. The scene on the left was taken by a tourist in November 2012, and the photo on the right was taken by Olga Yakimovich for Reuters.


Kiev, Ukraine – Kiev’s Independence Square was quiet on Sunday morning after a tumultuous Saturday, which saw parliament oust Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and free from jail Orange Revolution leader Yulia Tymoshenko, who addressed tens of thousands of Ukrainians in the capital.

Thousands crushed together trying to edge their way towards a glimpse of Tymoshenko, while candles mourning the dozens who died in last week’s protests lit the epicenter of the country’s bloody uprising.

While many cheered for the opposition movement’s hard-fought victory, the mood at Independence Square was one of reflection rather than outright jubilance. On Friday, a memorial with flowers and candles covered the top of a statue’s base. By last night, all nine stairs of that base were hidden underneath tokens of remembrance after clashes between protesters and police left 82 dead.

A moment of silence was called to mourn the victims. People stopped to pray at another impromptu memorial set up around the bottom of a lamp post next to barricades at the square, which was filled with slick mud after protesters stripped away the square’s bricks to build fortifications.

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