Atlantic Cities
Postcard

How People Outside of Kiev Feel About the Ukraine Protests

Protests against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and his last-second decision to pull out of an EU trade agreement continue, drawing hundreds of thousands to the streets of Kiev. But do these activists speak for the country?

Two Ukranian cities, Lviv and Donetsk, illustrate the country's deep political divides. 

Lviv, west of Kiev, is one of Ukraine's most tourist friendly cities. It's full of neo-classical architecture and a pro-Europe attitude. Currently, its central square hosts a large painted sign saying: "Christmas without Yanukovich!"

Almost 800 miles east in the industrial city of Donetsk, locals instead fear the protests will put Ukraine's economy to a halt. One steel worker tells Reuters that the "protests are a disgrace," adding that "if they go on for another two weeks, there will be no pensions, no wages, the whole economy will collapse."

Below, Reuters photographers Alexander Demianchuk and Maxim Shemetov provide a look into the two cities and their contrasting appearances, providing each side with a different take on Ukraine's current struggle:


Snow settles on rooftops in the western Ukranian city of Lviv December 8, 2013. (REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk)


A woman in traditional dress sells souvenirs in the western Ukranian city of Lviv December 7, 2013. (REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk) 


Women walk past a clothing boutique in the western Ukranian city of Lviv December 7, 2013. (REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk)


Doctor Volodymyr Semeniv takes part in a pro-European integration rally in the western Ukranian city of Lviv December 8, 2013. (REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk) 


Local residents sit on a bus in the western Ukranian city of Lviv December 7, 2013. (REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk)


A waiter in traditional dress serves customers in a cafe in the western Ukranian city of Lviv December 7, 2013. (REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk) 


Smoke rises over the eastern Ukranian city of Donetsk December 7, 2013. (REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov)


A woman walks past a shop offering shoes "at USSR prices" in the suburb of Makeyevka in the eastern Ukranian city of Donetsk December 7, 2013. (REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov)


A woman sells winter accessories from a street stall in the suburb of Makeyevka in the eastern Ukranian city of Donetsk December 7, 2013.


People cross a square in front of a statue of of Lenin in the eastern Ukranian city of Donetsk December 11, 2013. (REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov)

Keywords: Ukraine

Mark Byrnes is an associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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