Euromaidan, Kyiv – February 19

Euromaidan Ukraine revolutionFROM MY PAL IN KYIV

5pm – Confused picture, big danger is government says it is introducing big crackdown on ‘extremist terrorists’.

On the other hand Maidan looks very hard to dislodge without an actual shooting war – today they took over a load more public buildings and more people have settled permanently on Maidan.

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Euromaidan, Kyiv, protests – February 2

Euromaidan 2013FROM 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.  

Continue reading Euromaidan, Kyiv, protests – February 2

Euromaidan, Kyiv, protests – January 24

FROM MY PAL IN KYIV (who is not the writer of the above tweet). The strong views of what he thinks will happen are his.

January 24, 11pm:

Pretty sure this weekend will decide it. People are flooding into Kyiv and more people in the city than ever are saying they will demonstrate, so there will be big/moderate turnout.

Many people are prepared for battle, there are large stocks of bulletproof vests, petrol bombs around conflict areas.

About 1,000 men must now win or face at least 15 year prison by new laws, but they believe the govt will kill them.

Continue reading Euromaidan, Kyiv, protests – January 24

Euromaidan, Kyiv, protests – January 23

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FROM MY PAL

Jan 23, evening:

Some western regional councils have come out against the govt, notably the Major of Lviv.

I think that Yanu and co. are weak, but also desperate – hence dangerous; the silly order to pelt the US Embassy with eggs (by ‘titushki’ – usually translated as ‘thugs’; but now they look even poorer and more miserable than before, in much fewer numbers, so I would not really apply ‘thugs’ to them) would seem indicative of some kind of dying gasp.

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Kyiv – where are all the leaders?

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THIS IS AN UPDATE FROM A FRIEND:

The other night (to be specific, Sunday night) I was watching the real conflict start, as buses started going up in flames and there were constant explosions from stun grenades, fireworks, gas canisters and molotov cocktails.

The demonstrators have been very careful not to damage private property, and were trying to physically manhandle a parked car out of the way of one of their hastily-erected barricades.

In the middle of all this, the car owner appeared, got in the car, drove off down the street.  Given that a nearby car was overturned and on fire, it must have been his lucky day. 

Continue reading Kyiv – where are all the leaders?

Kyiv City Hall revisited

20131211-172140.jpgThe last thing I did before leaving Kyiv yesterday (Tuesday) was visit City Hall for the second time.

At 1am it was abuzz with activity, even though maybe 150 people were trying to sleep on the floor.

A good 200 more were nervously awaiting an expected police raid,  which was eventually repulsed earlier today. Reports made it sound like a Keystone Cops raid.

A young man, about 23, came up to me for a chat, sporting a Napoleon frown.

His English was quite good. He spoke about how much he detested the country’s corrupt elite. He was angry but not shaking with rage.

I listened for five minutes – it seemed like it was something that he needed to get it off his chest after what had been the most charged 24 hours since the police attacked protesters on Sunday December 1.

He then walked off. I noticed for the first time he was carrying in his right hand, a very nasty looking crowbar.

Continue reading Kyiv City Hall revisited

Snow, sausages and Saakashvili

20131207-162633.jpgUkraine’s Euromaidan is the political equivalent of Glastonbury.

Kyiv’s Independence Square is awash with tents, oil drum fires, soup tureens boiling borscht.

There’s a powerful smell of sausages. There’s never a moment’s silence from the stage, someone is always giving a speech.

That’s mixed up with musical interludes.

Continue reading Snow, sausages and Saakashvili