FROM A BRITISH CONTACT IN UKRAINE – TODAY IS THE 11TH SUNDAY IN A ROW THAT PROTESTERS HAVE BEEN OUT IN FORCE IN KYIV:
Just been for a good look around the protest area. It all seems to be kind of ‘bedding in’ like before – it’s just bigger now.
There are a lot of people staying in Ukraina House – from where they could be at Krushevskogo barricades in about a minute.
It’s all quite well-organised in there on a micro level – AutoMaidan Centre, medical centre, students centre, library, film centre, clothes donation area, food hall.
They all seem to be running along OK, but again no evidence of higher-level organisation or strategy; and they are all in their own little areas, some with security stopping access for the public – I can kind of understand that but it’s the usual thing of little bands protecting their own interests.
The students looked like the best people to talk to, unfortunately some girl who could speak English was brought over but she was one of these types who deliver monologues on topics you already know about – she went on for about 3 minutes about the how each stage of a revolution functions; not in the least interested in if I could offer something.
Also made clear that their group was ‘for students’.
I sometimes wonder if this country, appearing to lack some of the values and skills that democracies require, such as high levels of trust and the ability to engage others, is really capable of forming a successful democratic state.
Still, hard to imagine that even Miss Monologue would be worse than Yanu. Bit depressed by the experience really – by the fact that she seemed to be taking a leading role.
The pictures are from Khrushevskogo street.
You may be able to make out wooden and steel man sized slings scattered around.
There are also ‘soldiers mothers against war’ singing inside the newly occupied Ukraina House – the crowd is listening to a piano performance. Overall, a sense of wait and see.
Some ruling party MPs have defected and spoke on Independence Square.
All the opposition leaders spoke and were quite well received – they have just come back from Munich and seem invigorated.
They have various plans to exert pressure on the government next week and everyone seems to think we are now at the start of managing a change in power.
One big mistake from government side or one clever move from opposition side could see a general collapse; though Yanukovych is still dangerous and titushki (paid government thugs) have hit on a new tactic, of setting protesters’ cars alight.
Also it is widely believed that more people have been killed by some kind of state hit squad.
Only one dead body has turned up but three people seriously injured who were left to freeze to death but managed to get help.
But more activists have gone missing and there are reports from crematoriums of groups of men turning up at night and ordering bodies to be burned on spot.
Would seem silly to get rid of bodies in that way but bear in mind ground rock solid now.
As I send this am standing in middle of group of titushki, they range from nasty to unintelligent in appearance and have been checking me out – think I am an opposition scout (not far wrong).
Off home now