Polish writer Andrzej Stasiuk on #EuroMaidan

Voices of Ukraine

The revolutionaries of Maidan (Independence Square in the heart of Kyiv, Ukraine) built a catapult to bombard the riot police on the other side of the barricades with stones. Cossacks (medieval Ukrainian warriors), whom we used to think usually fought on horseback as unstoppable cavalry, actually fought on foot, as infantry. They were experts at surrounding and blockading towns and castles. They built improvised siege machinery called “hylyaigorod” (a “mantlet,” movable shelter) and others aimed at breaking castle gates and scaling walls.

Ukrainian protesters in homemade suits of armour. Photo: Evgeny Feldman Ukrainian protesters in homemade suits of armour. Photo: Evgeny Feldman

Now their descendants have built a catapult. The entire Maidan, and the entire Ukrainian revolution depicted in photographs, viewed on television and on the Internet, resemble a cross between a fantasy movie and an apocalyptic story from the distant future. Black smoke, burning barricades, urban revolutionaries wearing tank, construction, ski or motorbike helmets, goggles, gas masks, “dead head”…

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