Konstantin Sigov, 16 February 2014
Greetings to you from Kyiv, where I find myself at the moment.
For several months, I have been waking up thinking of the people who spend their nights on Independence Square, called Maidan, in Kyiv. Their bodies must withstand cold; their spirits, fear. During the day they welcome us with smiles and earnest handshakes, determined above all not to give up. These men and women of very different professional backgrounds and of varying worldviews embody the civic society of our country in all its great diversity. Volunteers of all ages do all they can in genuine solidarity. The golden rule of Maidan: absence of self-interest and selfishness. Each of these people says “no” to lies and repression. In the heart of Europe, here and now, these people stand opposed to inhumanity. They have accepted Pascal’s wager, the wager of our faith, without which we would have no future.
Events in Ukraine have been unfolding at lightning speed. Last night, an agreement was signed between the president and the opposition. This agreement left the protesters unsatisfied, as it included nothing on the resignation of Yanukovych or the prosecution of those responsible for the violence against peaceful protesters during the demonstrations. The agreement addressed the surrender of all ammunition to the authorities. However, it was very unclear how Maidan would respond and whether the violent clashes would continue. Maidan issued Yanukovych an ultimatum and demanded his resignation by 10 a.m. on 22 February.
Football fans, especially the so-called Ultras, make up a separate men’s subculture complete with their own strictly enforced rules, laws, initiations, and a code of honor. Every fan community has its own traditions, history, folklore, and symbols. It is believed that the ultras of different clubs are not that interested in politics and have positioned themselves above this, placing a clear accent on the fact that ‘sport has nothing in common with politics’. Football has repeatedly succeeded in achieving one important thing that has been impossible for politicians and public figures, it has united Ukraine, from east to west, and from north to south.