It was supposed to be a short assignment. After all, European countries in the 21st century may sometimes be gripped by protests, and some protests may even turn violent. But they don’t usually descend into open warfare.
Since my trip to Kiev, Ukraine, in November 2013 to cover protests against then-President Viktor Yanukovich, the Ukraine story has swept me along in deaths and near misses; tales of sacrifice, sadness and bravery.
On Feb. 20, protesters burned tires and threw firebombs at police, who fought back with clubs and shields, and then live ammunition. Unable to put down the protests, Yanukovich fled the capital.
The next day, the Los Angeles Times carried my front-page image of one protester’s father standing in the morgue, holding the bloodied helmet his son had painted blue in hopes it would look like U.N. gear.
From there, events moved quickly. Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula and…
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