How They Voted in Kyiv: Heat, Lines and Vyshyvankas

Temur Kiguradze, Russian BBC

Voters in Kyiv once more had to figure out long voting ballots

Champagne bottles have been opened in Petro Poroshenko’s headquarters – without awaiting official results of the Central Electoral Committee of Ukraine, the businessman stated that the country has elected President. 

In order to greet the possible winner of the presidential elections, even before the closure of voting points, big businessmen and representatives of the diplomatic corps have gathered in his headquarters.

Mister Poroshenko accepted the congratulations and was already making statements as the first person in the country – he talked about the possibility of dialogue with Russia, the necessity of creating a new system of regional security and promised to conduct his first visit as head of state to Dobas.

Continue reading

Maidan Volunteer Liza Shaposhnyk Is Getting Married This Week

Photo by Ruslan Stepanov

The young woman became an iconic hero of the Maidan last winter when she devoted herself tirelessly to helping out on Independence Square.

Six months ago, Liza Shaposhnyk helped out in the kitchen of the Euromaidan in Kyiv: she tore the strings off tea bags.  Liza, who has had limited capabilities since childhood is once again dealing with strings.  This time it’s the strings of explosive devices that the Right Sector fighters are training to set on the ground, reports Radio Liberty. Continue reading

Kyiv City Administration Announces Contest for Heaven’s Hundred Memorial

The Kyiv City State Administration has announced a contest to create a Memorial to the Heaven’s Hundred in Kyiv. It will be an all-Ukrainian contest, citizens from other countries can also participate. The first stage of the contest is a submission of ideas. The best ideas will be selected for the second stage of the contest after public discussion and by a jury and public council of experts. The deadline is July 23, 2014. All the details can be found on the official website of the contest, http://nebesna.kga.gov.ua/

The concept of a Memorial to the Heaven’s Hundred has given rise to much discussion in Ukrainian society. What is the meaning of the Heaven’s Hundred? Why is it central to the Maidan’s memory?

nebesna Continue reading

‘Thinking together’ May 15-19 conference in Kyiv: videos of lectures

On May 15-19, the international conference ‘Thinking Together’ was held in Kyiv, bringing together twenty-five leading figures from the worlds of art, literature, and scholarship from all around the world for a series of public discussions with Ukrainian colleagues about the meaning of Ukrainian pluralism for the future of Europe, Russia, and the world.

Thursday May 15
5:00pm Public Lecture by Timothy Snyder
Not Even Past: Ukrainian Histories, Russian Politics, European Futures
Site: Congregation Hall, Old University Building, Kyiv Mohyla Academy

Friday May 16
12:00 Press conference
Timothy Snyder, Leon Wieseltier, international guests
Site: Hotel Ukraina, Media Crisis Center

5:45pm Public Lecture by Bernard-Henri Lévy
La résistible ascension d’Arturo Poutine
In French with simultaneous translation to Ukrainian
Site: Congregation Hall, Old University Building, Kyiv Mohyla Academy

Saturday May 17

5:30pm Public lecture by Ivan Krastev
The Global Politics of Protest
Site: Congregation Hall, Old University Building, Kyiv Mohyla Academy

Sunday May 18 

11:30am Public lecture by Slavenka Drakulić
Intellectuals as Bad Guys?
The Role of Intellectuals in the Balkan Wars
Site: Center for Polish and European Studies, Building 6, Kyiv Mohyla Academy

6:30pm Public lecture by Paul Berman
Alexis de Tocqueville and the Idea of Democracy
Site: Congregation Hall, Old University Building, Kyiv Mohyla Academy

Monday 19 May 

Press conference

More on the Thinking Together conference

TOP-8 Contradictions of Separatists in Donbas

In talking with the supporters of federalization and regional republics in the east of Ukraine who call themselves separatists, you often hear similar reasons given for their protest. Further discussion often highlights significant contradictions in the separatists’ arguments about reasons for their protests. These are the top 8 contradictions most often cited.

1. Nobody has brought Donbas to its knees and nobody will.

No matter that if Ukrainian citizens had not started EuroMaidan but accepted total corruption, officials’ impunity, pillaging and repression under Yanukovych and meekly awaited new presidential elections, the whole country would be brought to its knees, including Donbas.  Continue reading

Kyiv Commemorates 70th Anniversary of Tatar Deportation While Crimea’s Puppet Government Bans Rallies

t8

Photo by Руслан Константинович

On May 17, a rally commemorating the 70th anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars was held in Kyiv. The event ‘Light a fire in your heart’ took place on Mykhailivska square with the participation of the Crimean Tatar community and lasted an hour. As part of the event the contours of the Crimean peninsula, the number 70, the contours of the Crimean Tatar Tamga national symbol and the words ‘No genocide’ were formed from candles. The Head of the Crimean Tatar Medjlis Mustafa Dzhemilev that was recently banned entry to Crimea, MP Oles Doniy, and famous political Vasyl Ovsiyenko took part in the gathering.

“Now the Crimean Tatars are in a very difficult situation, like the one 70 years ago,” notes Tamila Tasheva, the event’s organiser and the head of the media department of the Crimean Tatar brotherhood in Kyiv. “The occupation athorities of Crimea pressure the Tatar population, forcing them to leave their homeland,” reports Gazeta.ua. On May 16, the first day of remembrance of the deportation of the Tatars in Crimea, the puppet government in Crimea headed by Aksyonov banned all mass rallies till June 6, as a result of which the rally ‘Light a fire in your heart’ planned to happen in Crimea was cancelled. Continue reading

The ‘Junta’; and the New Power in Kyiv

by Maksym Vasin

In eastern Ukraine there are rumors about a ‘junta’ in Kyiv; as there are about elusive Ukrainian nationalists and the ‘mighty’ Right Sector.

But for the sake of peace, the inhabitants of Donbas should thoroughly re-consider what the term ‘junta’ means; and what relationship the new Kyiv authority has to a ‘junta’.

According to the dictionary:

Junta – a military, reactionary, terrorist group in Spain and the countries of Latin America

In modern usage the word ‘junta’ is often used to refer to the dictatorship of a group of military leaders, which came to power as a consequence of an armed revolution. Continue reading

1,000s of titushkas and Russians plan provocations in Kyiv

Thursday, May 8, 2014, 15:36

Thousands of people from the east of Ukraine and Russia are preparing provocations in Kyiv on May 9, Volodymyr Pak, leader of the 14th Kolomya sotnia, announced on Thursday.

“The Central Board of Hundreds of Maidan is ready for tomorrow’s possible provocations. We will intensify patrols and coordinate actions with self-defense of the Ukrainian House,” he said. According to Pak, their actions are coordinated with the Ministry of Interior, as there is evidence that “many groups around Kyiv are only waiting to organize riots here on Maidan.”  Continue reading

Maidan as a Symptom: Trauma, Wound, and Crypt

By Tamara Hundorova

Heroes of the Heaven’s Hundred are honored on Maidan

These days, Maidan leaves a macabre impression that blends shame with sorrow. More precisely, it is probably the effect of an open, festering, unhealed wound. Armed people in paramilitary outfits bustle around busily, although, it seems, there is no reason to rush, and people who have settled at Maidan and do not want to leave mill about the barricades covered with wilting flowers. Tourists take pictures against the barricades, scattered flowers or even an armored troop-carrier driven in from somewhere, while Kyivans sneak through the Independence Square on their way to work or home. A surge of shame at seeing bottles or boxes asking for cigarette money for the self-defense units: these are no church beggars, but EuroMaidan Heroes. The faces of those still living on Maidan sport questioning or accusatory expressions, as if asking, “How do you reward us, the heroes, today?” Trinket peddlers come to occupy Maidan, pushing back the protesters` tents. Independence Square itself became commodified a while ago, and now it is being slowly conquered by the peddlers of magnets, postcards, pictures of the burning Maidan, maybe even bullets as mementos. The bullets found during the stand-off are on display here for all to see, exactly like merchandise (which they might be). Continue reading