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

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid