Central Wisconsin woman concerned about Ukraine protests - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Central Wisconsin woman concerned about Ukraine protests

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WAUSAU (WAOW) - Violence has erupted in Ukraine's capital city as anti-government protesters clash with police. As of Tuesday evening at least 18 people had died.

A woman from our area is watching these events closely. Olena Centeno is from Ukraine and now lives in Wittenberg. Her parents live thousands of miles away in Kiev. Their home is about 20 minutes away from the center of anti-government protests.

The protests have lasted for months but have recently taken a deadly turn.

It's unbelievable,” said Centeno. “I haven't seen it since 1990s as I remember that what happened when the Soviet Union collapsed.”

Centeno came to the U.S. In 2007. She still visits her home country regularly. Besides family, she has lots of friends there. Some of them, she says, are involved in the protests.

I really worry about them and how it's going to turn out,” said Centeno. “I don't want really any lives to be taken anymore.”

The protests are taking place on Kiev's Independence Square in the heart of downtown. But Centeno says outside that area, from what she's heard, life in Ukraine goes on.

I just talked to my friend a couple days ago. Everything is working there, all schools, all malls. All industries are pretty much working,” she said.

But it's clear the situation in Kiev has become more serious.

People are really, really upset,” said Centeno. She hopes for a resolution soon.

I'm thinking, all this people who are standing there for three months already, and it's been a hard winter,” she said. “It's snowing, it's freezing, but they stand there for their idea for the better future.”

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