Tuesday,
26 September 2017
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OpinionEuroMaidan. Misconceptions

This week a lot of people in Ukraine reminisce of the reasons why we went to the Maidan three years ago. Someone has already claimed they are disappointed with what has followed the Euromaidan, with the fact that there has been no real reform, and that the victims were in vain.

Someone, on the contrary, said that both on the first day of rallies, and up to the ruthless and senseless beating of students by the Independence Monument the people’s protest was not directed against the government, and there were certainly no preconditions for war in sight at the time.

Now, looking back at these events through a kaleidoscope of new stories – the revolution, the annexation, the war - it's hard to remember the slightest details of those early days. But I believe this is important to recreate the exact chronology.

First of all, that is in order not to succumb to manipulation a la "Look where your Maidan has taken you all!" The thing is that the initial demand, voiced by the Ukrainians in 2013, was simply to return to the signing of an Association Agreement with the EU.

However, even after the brutal crackdown on the students when hundreds of thousands of people took to the country’s main square, it’s difficult to link the protesters’ requirements with the favorite statements of the Russian "brothers" on "fascist Ukrainians who started a civil war." That’s because the protesters merely sought to bring to justice those responsible for the violence against young people: those, on whose orders the utility services began installing a Christmas tree on that November night, and who gave the nod to the Berkut Police special force to cleanse the Maidan of the remnants of protest, that by that time had already been dying out.

Now, looking back at these events through a kaleidoscope of new stories – the revolution, the annexation, and the war - it's hard to remember the slightest details of those early days. But I believe this is important to recreate the exact chronology

It is important to remember that no dismissals ensued. Instead, after the New Year, the so-called draconian dictatorial "Laws of January 16" were adopted. And only then came the clashes on Hrushevskoho Street, a wall of burning tires, and first deaths of the activists from the Heavenly Hundred – Sergei Nigoyan and Mikhail Zhiznevsky. Objectively, the list of demands to the authorities has expanded, rolling in with a wave of public outrage. Then it was the first time some political demands emerged – the people sought the abolition of "Laws of January 16," withdrawal of Police troops and Berkut from Kyiv, the return to a parliamentary-presidential form of republic (abolished with a puppet parliamentary majority of Yanukovych after he came to power), the resignation of Mykola Azarov’s government, lustration, election of new members of the CEC, the adoption of a new electoral law, and ultimately holding early parliamentary and presidential elections ...

At the beginning of February 2014, this list was read out to Yanukovych during his negotiations with the opposition representatives (they looked pretty pathetic though, but the Maidan simply lacked any other negotiators with corrupt authorities). Moreover, some hope loomed that the settlement of the situation is getting nearer. But late February, amid the fatal shooting of unarmed people on Instytutska Street, Yanukovych fled Ukraine toward Russia. The Euromaidan has ended. "Little green men" emerged in Crimea, while in some other Ukrainian regions the Kremlin’s so-called "Novorossiya" project was launched...

Russia-imposed idea that "you are to blame yourself for everything" is the most vivid misconception about the Euromaidan

Today, those who wished not to listen to the very first, naïve demands of the Euromaidan, who deliberately fomented protests with violence, who cowardly fled Ukraine under the Kremlin's patronage and then quietly watched the annexation of Crimea by some "unidentified troops" and gave up Donbas to the mass looting by Russian thugs, - they remind of themselves from behind the Russian border with claims that it’s all the Euromaidan protesters’ fault… These people are like no one else interested in an alternative perception of the events of three years ago. They are because they seek revenge.

Unfortunately, their voice, even though it’s the voice of traitors distorting reality, is being picked up by huge numbers of various marginalized individuals in Ukraine. They say: “Look what you’ve drawn the country into! Was it worth it? Had you known, what it will all lead to, would you have still come to the Maidan to protest?

Yes, people would have come there anyway.

That’s because this Russia-imposed idea that "you are to blame yourself for everything" is the most vivid misconception about the Euromaidan.

We remember how the Maidan started, what it sought, and when it ended.

And we also remember, when saw our “brothers” coming up in arms at our door.

Tatiana Urbanskaya

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