Ukrainian police leave posts, join protesters

In another pivotal moment as the Ukraine speeds towards civil war, police officers have walked off their posts to join the protesters, as reported by NBC News on Feb. 21, 2014.

With the western part of the country known as the heartland of Ukrainian nationalism, at least 40 police officers from the city of Lviv were joined by former soldiers as they trekked the 330 miles from their home city to the nation’s capital of Kiev, located roughly in the center of the country.

With estimates of the death toll topping 100, the chief of police of the Lviv Oblast (translation: “province“) Col. Vasyl Krykovskiy led his men to Kiev to stand with the protesters against the pro-Russian president Viktor F. Yanukovych, who is seen by many as wanting to bring the nation back into the Russian sphere of influence.

With such a high ranking officer leading the cohort to Kiev, it’s unsure if they were the acts of renegades or if the Oblast leadership authorized their actions.

As the officers arrived in Kiev and joined the ranks of the protesters, the crowd applauded and cheered the seasoned law enforcement officials to their ranks.

Colonel Krykovskiy made of point of stating:

We wear this uniform, and in this uniform I made a vow to be a servant of the Ukrainian people. I just have to be here and protect these people.

Lviv Police Capt. Vladimir Chesak made note of his personal resolve to stand with his fellow Ukrainians:

We will be here until the moment everything ends and the Ukrainian people peacefully go home and no one else is killed.

Composite photograph of Kiev’s Independence Square prior to the rioting contrasted to now.