Disclaimer: The views expressed here are my own and do not reflect that of Peace Corps or the United States of America.
The travel-ban to Kiev has been lifted! And with that, I would like to release my pictures of life on Maidan Nezhaleznosti (Independence Square):
For an Extremely brief history of the situation: Many citizens of Ukraine were in favor of Ukraine signing an agreement to join the EU. The president of Ukraine, Yanakovich, abruptly in the middle of November 2013 -about one week before final negotiations – decided to back out of signing the agreement with the EU, in favor of joining some type of trade agreement with Russia.
This catalyzed the events of the “EuroMaidan” movement – where citizens of Ukraine have created a barricade around Independence Square, and there have beenrallies, protests, demonstrations, millions of protesters taking part over the past two months. While it has been mostly peaceful, there have been violent clashes between the police and the protesters.
Read more here: https://www.kyivpost.com/hot/euromaidan/
Here are pictures:
While it is unclear what will come of this, it is clear that these protesters are here to stay. The barracades are strong, the man-power is unfazed by the winter, and people are passionate about this. It is a nationalistic movement, where a majority of people are expressing frustration with their current government lacking respect for democracy. Political leaders are often viewed as corrupt and self-serving rather than representing the people.
While most people I talk to seem to be unified against the current political party in power, there is absolutely no clear vision or unified opinion of what should happen instead. I am struck by the distrust and pessimism of a future and a government. And these varied opinions are not defined by other factors – for example, not all old people, not all young people, not all people from the East or West hold the same views. There truly is no majority, which in my opinion, makes this protest all the more important for individuals to share their voice.
Only time will tell…