Several months ago, there was a lot of coverage in the Western media about the ongoing protests in Kiev and the occupation of Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square). But after the fall of the Yanukovitch Government, coverage moved to the troubles in Crimea and the East, so I assumed things were back to normal in Kiev. I expected to find signs of what had happened, but I must say I had no idea it was still occupied, almost like it was months ago.
Tents and barricades were still everywhere. I asked a young local guy who spoke English well why the protesters were still there, now that a provisional government favourable to their views was in place. “Honestly, we’re not sure” was his answer. He suggested most residents are looking forward to all these people going back to wherever they normally live (including in their Kiev apartments).
As is often the case in revolutions, the victorious “side” can often be a mishmash of powerful intellectuals, miserable bandits and everything in between, from many ideological backgrounds. As I mentioned in my Lviv story, I have been very busy in the last couple of weeks and I didn’t have time to try and understand the very complex nature of Ukrainian politics and history. So I will just share the pictures I took around Maidan Square.
Hundreds of tents block one of the main streets of the capital. When I was there, some people thought they would have to be removed for Victory Day (May 9th). In the end, the current Government didn’t cancel the celebrations, but cut them back massively, citing fears of provocations and clashes. A book could be written just on the symbolism, implications and historical roots of such a decision. I won’t be the one to write it.
A field kitchen.
A makeshift church.
Small breaches have been made to allow pedestrian traffic, but otherwise the barricades have not moved. Continue reading