How Ukraine is creating a second national identity

When everything happening in Donbas will have ended, nothing will be over. The death count cannot be annulled, personal memories cannot be eradicated. Portraits with black ribbons will remain on the shelves of old polished closets. “And this, son, is your father’s camouflage, he fought in it.” What for? Who cares – children’s memories are the most powerful and real. The families of the fallen will measure the future with the past, it will start defining the present as well. Time does not heal anything – it only promotes what one has survived into the category of myth. And a myth is characterised by the fact that it cannot be rationalised with facts. Continue reading

Maidan vs Pro-Russian Protests: Find the differences

Despite some outside similarity between two Ukrainian protests – the Maidan [Euromaidan] and the so-called separatist demonstrations in eastern Ukraine now taking place, they are radically different, starting with the fact, that pro-Russian/separatist protests almost entirely lacked the peaceful phase, say political scientists.

“Let’s remember one thing: for two months, people stood on the Maidan absolutely unarmed and demanded punishment for those guilty of beating students on Nov. 30 – Dec. 1. By contrast, in the easternmost oblasts, we are seeing militants in Russian uniforms and gear, shooting and taking over the government buildings,” Ukrainian political scientist Oleksiy Haran told BBC Ukraine.

His colleague Mykhailo Pohrebinskiy says that there was far less weaponry on the Maidan even during the violent phase that started on January 19. He points to yet another difference between the Maidan and supposedly pro-Russian movements: “The public arena does not have any obvious political leaders in this new ‘protest’.”

BBC Ukraine has put together a selection of photos illustrating the similarities and differences between these two Ukrainian protest movements.

The photos of pro-Russian actions are on the left, while Euromaidan photos from Kyiv are on the right.

During both protests, in the East and on the Maidan, mainly men threw paving stones at police and took over administrative buildings

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