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Kiev hotels, churches become makeshift hospitals

By Dorrine Mendoza, CNN
February 20, 2014 -- Updated 2120 GMT (0520 HKT)
An unidentified woman takes shelter in the Mykhailovsky Cathedral in Kyiv. The cathedral opened its doors for protesters wounded during the clashes with riot police Wednesday and Thursday. An unidentified woman takes shelter in the Mykhailovsky Cathedral in Kyiv. The cathedral opened its doors for protesters wounded during the clashes with riot police Wednesday and Thursday.
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Kiev churches, hotels become makeshift hospitals
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kiev hotel lobbies, churches become clinics, morgues
  • At a hotel converted to a triage center, an Orthodox priests prays over wounded
  • At a cathedral, CNN iReporter says "wounded were brought here throughout the night"

Are you in Ukraine? Send us your photos and experiences but please stay safe.

(CNN) -- As violence in Kiev continues to explode, reports of hotel lobbies and churches being used as makeshift clinics have surfaced on social media and in news reports.

Hospitals have also been flooded with patients, including police officers, reports say.

Maia Mikhaluk, a CNN iReporter and freelance photographer in Kiev, submitted photos of the Mykhailovsky Cathedral, a Ukrainian Orthodox church, being used as an improvised hospital for wounded protesters. The cathedral started taking in patients Tuesday.

"Wounded were brought here throughout the night. Volunteer doctors did surgeries, treated wounds," Mikhaluk said. "It's hard to say how many exactly have taken refuge as people keep rotating, some have been taken to hospitals or to homes of Kiev citizens, some went back to street fights. But there have been definitely several hundred."

Twitter user @BSpringnote reported crowds at the cathedral, where medicine, food and clothing are being delivered. Hours earlier he posted a photo showing the elaborate interior of the church, set against people sprawled in makeshift beds across the floor. He did not immediately respond to CNN's request for an interview.

CNN reporters in Kiev report that a hotel converted into a triage center, bodies covered in bloodied sheets lay on the floor while Orthodox priests prayed over them. The name of the hotel was not mentioned.

In a powerful narrative CNN cameraman Todd Baxter describes the scene as he grabbed his camera and ran the hotel stairs.

"As I ran, I noticed bullet holes in the stairwell windows. Three had pierced through a second-floor window. Three more had shattered through another window.

"And then I saw the bodies.

"There were five bodies underneath the stairs, lifeless feet peeking out of the white sheets that covered them. There were more bodies lined up just feet from the reception desk. They were wrapped in white sheets and red splotches bled through."

BBC reporter Duncan Crawford described an "intense situation" at a Kiev hotel lobby-turned-hospital. He said some of the protesters had severe injuries. He posted photos on Twitter of the injured being treated.

Stay with CNN and CNN iReport for continued coverage.

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