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Politics & Government

A Pitt Professor’s Inside Look into Ukraine

Andrew Butko

University of Pittsburgh assistant professor of economics TymofiyMylovanov is in Kiev participating in talks with the Prime Minister of Ukraine to try and help stabilize the country after this past winter's events.

Mylovanov’s visit is at a time of extreme tension after a civilian plane was shot down as it was flying over Ukraine.

Mylovanov said Kiev was surprisingly quiet when he arrived.

"It's a little bit of a surreal feeling. It is as if there was no war. There are no military or uniformed police on the streets and everything was very, very quiet."

To add to this surreal feeling, Ukrainian government officials still can't view the crash site because separatists have closed off access. It's believed that they may be clearing the site so there will be no evidence that they were responsible for shooting down the plane.

The officials appear to have accepted that separatists are responsible for the downed plane and instead of discussing the plane, Mylovanov said officials are focusing on reform efforts.

"I think people were expecting something like that to take place. It is a consistent pattern of resistance from the separatists to all kinds of humanitarian refugees and in this case investigative efforts. This is nothing new for the Ukrainian public or for officials. And in that sense we don't hear much of the frustration with this specific incident, but rather overall frustration with the situation."

The hope from the Ukrainian people is that this situation will reveal the true story of struggle between the citizens and the separatists in East Ukraine.