A turn for the worse – deaths in Kyiv

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I am no longer in Kyiv where people are now dying amid the anti-government protests.

The pro-European protests in Ukraine are continuing, with central Kyiv still occupied by opposition supporters.

It’s all kicking off and violence seems to have escalated to a concerning level amid heightened tensions. This is a short update from a pal out there.

These are a few more pictures from events I observed between December 4 and 11. Just to clarify – NONE of these pictures relate to any events that have occurred in Kyiv this past week.

The checkpoint at the main entry point to City Hall, Kyiv
The checkpoint at the main entry point to City Hall, Kyiv
Independence Square  barricaded off
Independence Square barricaded off

My friend says: “Opposition still can’t get their act together, with strategies and engaging people.

“This place is now, under new legislation, a dictatorship.  You would not recognise the spirit of the protests – no more festive mood and thankfully the slogans and pop music have died out.

“People are now, finally, starting to focus on real arguments about the nature of the state etc.

Graffiti on a barricade that was set up in the first week of December
Graffiti on a barricade that was set up in the first week of December

“It’s sometimes a bit hairy, but I do believe that, as Aristotle said, ‘courage is the guarantee of other virtues’.

“I’m not actually engaging in violence etc. although now of course by gathering in political protest, expressing opinions, etc. I am breaking the law.

“Still, I am always on the lookout for escape routes etc.  The whole area around European Square now looks like a war zone, with constant explosions etc.

“I am pretty sure that more people will die tonight so spare a thought for them.

A protester wraps himself in a Georgian flag in the Trade Union offices in Independence Square
A protester wraps himself in a Georgian flag in the Trade Union offices in Independence Square

“I think the next few days are going to be crunch time for this country.

“Let’s hope the government falls – I can’t see that Yanukovych has much real support (even the paid ‘titushki’ who have been hanging around Arsenalna have more or less disappeared and look sheepish when I say ‘Ukraina bez tutushki – hangba (shame)’ to them).

A soup tureen is stirred in the Independence Square  encampment
A soup tureen is stirred in the Independence Square encampment
Independence Square, Kyiv, shortly after the result of parliament's vote of no confidence was announced
Independence Square, Kyiv, shortly after the result of parliament’s vote of no confidence was announced
No hammer this time. Chips off Lenin's block are delicately teased off with what looks like a geologist's hammer
No hammer this time. Chips off Lenin’s block are delicately teased off with what looks like a geologist’s hammer

“But the opposition are rubbish at using their opportunities and getting momentum going to cause defections etc.

“Otherwise all OK!”

Another update from my friend on events over the last few days is here

Lenin gets a further battering from a sledgehammer-wielding protester
Lenin gets a further battering from a sledgehammer-wielding protester
Ukrainian Orthodox Church priests conduct a service on the stage in the main square
Ukrainian Orthodox Church priests conduct a service on the stage in the main square
Vitali Klitchko press conference
Vitali Klitchko press conference
Prayers said at Marinski Park shrine next to pro-government protest meeting in area next to  Ukraine's parliament
Prayers said at Marinski Park shrine next to pro-government protest meeting in area next to Ukraine’s parliament
Barbed wire strung across Shovkovichna in a  bid to stop government vehicles using the road
Barbed wire strung across Shovkovichna in a bid to stop government vehicles using the road
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