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Ukraine's Younger Generation Seeks New Direction

Ukraine's Younger Generation Seeks New Directioni
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February 25, 2014 8:32 PM
Ukraine is a very different country than it was just a week ago, after a protest movement led by young people overthrew the Russian-backed government. Now, those young people want to take the country in a new direction. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Al Pessin
Ukraine is a very different country than it was just a week ago, following a protest movement led by young people who overthrew the Russian-backed government. They now want to take the country in a new direction.
 
At the Ukrainian Education Ministry, where university students now are in charge, the sign reads "Students Welcome." Just show an ID card and walk right in. Everyone else is expected to stay out, for now.
 
Inside, students study the portraits of past education ministers, with the newly-ousted minister dubbed "The Destroyer of Ukrainian Education."
 
The students are organized. A force of mostly young men is ready to defend the building. There is a command center in an auditorium where students meet to discuss issues, or just to hang out. Strict rules forbid smoking, drinking and the destruction of anything. To help ensure that, the students have blocked off whole sections of the building.
 
"My name is Anton Savidi. I am a student of Lviv University," said one young man in the university.

On the grand hallway outside the minister's office, students have put makeshift seals on all the doors.

"We don't want any documents that can say something to us about corruption to disappear from here," said Savidi.

Ministry of Education, Kyiv, UkraineMinistry of Education, Kyiv, Ukraine
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Ministry of Education, Kyiv, Ukraine
Ministry of Education, Kyiv, Ukraine
Stopping corruption

The students say they will open the doors later, with investigators and TV cameras present.  
 
At a news conference, their spokesmen said they want input into the selection of the new minister, and reform of the education system.  
 
And long-term, 23-year-old law student Mlada Kachurets said she wants much more.

"This is my real hope, really, to have changes and better life, not by changing faces, but by changing the system, to build a country where the human rights and the rule of law are the most important things," she said.
 
Those are ambitious goals, though Kachurets said she thinks the nation's young people are better able to achieve them than the older generation has been.
 
"There is a problem in all the post-Soviet countries - all those older people, they lived inside the Soviet system. This generation, that now are students, they have been growing up in the independent country, in the open world," said Kachurets. "That's why they may propose some new approaches to the system."
 
Kachurets said she wants her children to grow up in a country where they won't be killed in the streets just because they disagree with the government, what she calls "a normal, civilized country, without fear."

  • Members of self-defense units react after demolishing a fence enclosing the parliament building in Kyiv, Feb. 26, 2014.
  • A member of a self-defense unit saws a fence enclosing the parliament building in Kyiv, Feb. 26, 2014.
  • Anti-Yanukovych protesters march in the Independence Square, Kyiv, Feb. 26, 2014.
  • A woman cries at a memorial for the people killed in clashes with the police at Kyiv's Independence Square, Feb. 26, 2014.
  • An anti-Yanukovych protester cries near a memorial for the people killed in clashes in Kyiv's Independence Square, Feb. 25, 2014.
  • An anti-Yanukovych protester, wearing a Ukrainian flag with the name of his village written across it, places flowers at a memorial for the people killed in clashes in Kyiv's Independence Square, Feb. 25, 2014.
  • Flowers are seen placed at a barricade in Kyiv's Independence Square, Feb. 24, 2014.
  • People lay flowers at the barricades in memory of the victims of the recent clashes in central Kyiv, Feb. 24, 2014.
  • An opposition supporter cries near a memorial for the people killed in clashes with the police at Independence Square in Kyiv, Feb. 24, 2014.
  • Opposition supporters warm themselves around a fire as they guard one of the streets heading to Kyiv's Independence Square, Feb. 24, 2014.
  • Opposition supporters warm themselves around a fire in Kyiv's Independence Square, Feb. 24, 2014.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: HUANG JUN from: China
February 26, 2014 3:33 AM
We know very well about their new choice. That is nazism or facism: http://rt.com/news/ukraine-monuments-nazi-symbols-645/


by: Victor from: Ukraine
February 25, 2014 8:34 PM
we need young people to stay here. stop immigrating to Israel, Canada and Australia. they don't need you, but we do. you must stay here.

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