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

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey 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.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid