News / Europe

Ukraine Revolutionaries Vow to Stay in Kyiv's Maidan

Ukraine Revolutionaries Vow to Stay in Kyiv's Maidani
X
Gabe Joselow
June 01, 2014 9:01 PM
Ukrainian activists who fought for change in their capital's Independence Square are refusing to leave the public space that became the focal point of protests in February. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports on what the future might hold for Kyiv's Maidan, and those who occupy it, as a new government takes charge.
Gabe Joselow
Ukrainian activists who fought for change in their capital's Independence Square are refusing to leave the public space that became the focal point of anti-government protests which in February toppled a pro-Moscow government and paved the way for a new one to take charge.
 
For members of a self-defense group from the Ukrainian city of Odessa, the revolution is not over.
 
Defying orders to tear down one of the many barricades still blocking the roads in downtown Kyiv, they say they will stay until they are sure the political reforms they fought for have taken hold.
 
One fighter, Kostya, says he gave up everything for the struggle and is not ready to go back.
 
"I lost my job.  I have separated from my family.  I left Odessa and I did not leave for nothing.  I left to fight for my motherland so that Ukraine will be united," says Kostya.

They came from across Ukraine in bands called "hundreds," setting up tents and barriers in Kyiv's Maidan, or Independence Square, to call for change.
 
Stacks of bricks and tires remain from the February protests that forced the ousting of Russian-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych.
 
A new president, Petro Poroshenko, is set to take office this week.
 
Meantime, the country's attention has turned toward the smoldering battle with pro-Russian separatists in the east and the government has asked citizens to join the fight.
 
Some activists in Maidan say they supported the cause, but are not going anywhere.
 
Konstantin Klymashenko heads a civilian group that cooked meals throughout the protests.
 
"There will be certain rotation.  People from the east will come here to rest and people from here will go there to fight.  And we will just keep feeding them," says Konstantin.
 
The Maidan serves another role - as a living memorial.  The streets are lined with a growing number of dedications to some 100 protesters killed in battles with police - a group known as the "heavenly hundred."
 
In their memory, some activists want to establish the square as a center for continued political discussion.
 
Ivan Kukurudziak says those who gave their lives fought for more than just a change of leadership.
 
"When Yanukovych left it was just a process, it was not a win.  And when Poroshenko becomes president it's not a win, it's just a process.  So Maidan should be a place of activism, of innovation and propositions until the dreams of the people who died will come true," says Kukurudziak.
 
Kukurudziak wants to see a permanent place here for the organizations that supported the cause.
 
But not everyone agrees that Maidan should stay.  Anita, a medical student, helped injured protesters during the demonstrations.  She says the square has already served its purpose.
 
"I think that right now Maidan is not needed and if people will need it, they will come out again.  Now I do not think Maidan is playing any role," says Anita.

The city is ready to move on and the new mayor has called for Maidan to be cleared.  But it may be harder to convince those who believe - or who want to believe - that there is still a battle here to be fought.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Enter Public Office in Record Numbers

A steady deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Vovan from: Central Ukraine
June 02, 2014 8:22 AM
All misfortunes are in Ukraine - exceptionally on the conscience of Putin and his marionette Yanukovych. Putin was sure that will be able to control Ukraine through Yanukovych. When Yanukovych "bared" the About-Russian essence through impossibility to sign an association with European Union Ukrainian people overturned Yanukovych.

Yanukovych eloped to the owner (to Putin, Russia) as a dog. Farther to operate beginnings of Putin. Russia in the person of Putin simply went mad! Putin untied Goebbels propaganda against Ukraine.The really massed lie against Ukraine was begun with May, 2013 - when all Ukrainian patriotic moods got fascist interpretation suddenly. Russia conducts frankly aggressive war against Ukraine.

Here it is what reaction of Moscow on the real choice of the Ukrainian people independently to choose the fate and reject dominion of Russia above itself, which lasted more than 300 years.


by: Serge from: SPb
June 02, 2014 7:46 AM
Why do you call Yanukovych and former government
"pro-Moscow" and "Russian-backed leader"?
People in Russia and Ukraine don't think so. It's only your off-base opinion and you want to thrust your false opinion on others.

In Response

by: Vovan from: Central Ukrai
June 02, 2014 9:27 AM
You tell! Yanukovych today is in Russia. Yanukovych does statement under dictation of Putin. Yanukovych took out to Russia 6 trucks by by a meatball filled dollars. A president Yanukovych in 2010-2013 assigned the agents of Moscow for power positions in the Ukrainian government. The sons of Yanukovych also eloped to Russia. The ministers of government of Yanukovych eloped to Russia. Yanukovych did not condemn annexation of Crimea Russia. Yanukovych supports terrorism in Ukraine, which is exported from Russia.


by: Igor from: Russia
June 02, 2014 12:07 AM
It is high time to leave the square because your victory will creat another corrupted government. The difference is the new one is pro-western and the head of it is a billionaire who will care only for his money, not the plight of the poors.

In Response

by: Vovan from: Central Ukraine
June 02, 2014 9:39 AM
But as on me: we, Ukrainians, will decide without you, Russians, how we must live in the own country. Russians, venenate by propaganda of Dmitry Kiselev - student of Gebbels - try to teach other nation how they must live.

Ukrainians were European nation, Ukrainians - tolerant and peaceful people, Ukrainians always dreamed to be delivered from Russia


by: Jacklyn Denise from: USA
June 01, 2014 8:37 PM
Of course no one admits to burning to death 5 IT workers when Maidan took over the government buildings. No one admits shooting police in the back. No one admits burning soldiers to death with molotov cocktails. You can't even get VOA to report it.

In Response

by: Vovan from: Central Ukraine
June 02, 2014 9:45 AM
Who will not admit? Putin? Is Putin a tsar above Ukraine? Delivered from an itch to look at Ukraine sitting on the Kremlin watch tower.
Facts which you mention about are a fruit of Kremlin propaganda, and you are a parrot!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid