Back Home from Ukraine

PITTSTON–

The violence may be over.. but uncertainty now hangs over Ukraine.

The acting government there has issued an arrest warrant for ousted president Viktor Yanukovich.

Yanukovich hasn’t been seen since last Friday when his presidential helicopter flew out of Kiev.

Now, the nation of 46 million is more divided than ever.

In the east, Ukranians are Pro-Russia while those in the west are eager to turn to Europe and the United States.

Here at home a man from Luzerne County experienced the unrest first hand.

He returned home just days before the violence broke out.

Marc Keating of Pittston recently spent four weeks in Europe and spent six of those days in Ukraine.

“I mean, I’m in Europe so I might as well. I don’t think I’ll ever get to see something like that again, for as long as I live,” Keating said.

Keating did see London and parts of Italy, but he was eager to spend a few days in Kiev.

Over the last several months, Kiev has been the center of attention where anti-government protestors have taken to the streets rallying against Yanukovych.

Keating snapped several pictures which showed a city that is now in ruins, tents full of protestors that have occupied the downtown since November.

“They just want to work. They want jobs, and the average rate is $15 dollars a day,” Keating said.

While on his trip Keating stopped at some of the tents to speak with protestors.

He said they were vocal and wanted to share their stories of living in Ukraine.

“She [protestor] said, you know you’re very fortunate to have been born in America. I had to think and absorb that for a second and I said, you’re right,” Keating said.

Just days after leaving Ukraine, the protests Keating described as peaceful took a drastic turn.

More than 77 civilians were killed – marking the deadliest day in Kiev since the protest began last year.

Looking back at things now, Keating says he’s happy to be back home safe and reminds himself of how lucky he is to live in America.

“You kind of catch yourself taking a deep breath and realizing you were just there, just a couple of days earlier. And what led to 77 people getting killed? I don’t know. It might have been one of the protestors that I was talking to,” Keating said.

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