Mark Byrnes is a senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
In industrial Donetsk, locals see the ongoing protests as economically dangerous. In tourist-friendly Lviv, it's a fight for self-preservation.
Protests against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and his last-second decision to pull out of an EU trade agreement continue, drawing hundreds of thousands to the streets of Kiev. But do these activists speak for the country?
Lviv, west of Kiev, is one of Ukraine's most tourist friendly cities. It's full of neo-classical architecture and a pro-Europe attitude. Currently, its central square hosts a large painted sign saying: "Christmas without Yanukovich!"
Almost 800 miles east in the industrial city of Donetsk, locals instead fear the protests will put Ukraine's economy to a halt. One steel worker tells Reuters that the "protests are a disgrace," adding that "if they go on for another two weeks, there will be no pensions, no wages, the whole economy will collapse."
Below, Reuters photographers Alexander Demianchuk and Maxim Shemetov provide a look into the two cities and their contrasting appearances, providing each side with a different take on Ukraine's current struggle: