Euromaidan: What We Gained

A police barrier in the Maidan, February 19. Illustration for Olena Iagniuk's "Euromaidan: What We Gained."
A police barrier in the Maidan, February 19. Source: Businessweek. Photographer: Brendan Hoffman.

Olena Iagniuk
National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
Faculty of Economics
Master Program (1st year)
from Kharkiv city

A lot of people claim that the major achievement of Euromaidan is the downfall of the previous political regime. It is, undoubtedly, true; however, it would be unfair not to mention other important consequences of the recent events happening in Ukraine: the unification of citizens, world community recognition of Ukrainian nation’s democratic values, and a great lesson for future politicians. All of them are of significant importance and should be neither neglected nor forgotten.

First of all, with the help of Euromaidan, Ukrainians realized that they are all a part of the one whole. While fighting for freedom, democracy, and better future, the people showed an extreme sense of unity, support, and mutual help, which might not appear explicitly in peaceful times. There was no prejudice concerning age, nationality, origin, or place of living: brave people from Donetsk and Kharkiv were standing side by side with the citizens of Lviv and Ternopil at the barricades in Kyiv, without facing any kind of language or cultural barriers. Common values and clear vision of the reason that had lead them to Maidan Nezalezhnosti allowed people from all parts of the country to become one single powerful mechanism; the understanding of this fact, in turn, made people stronger, both physically and mentally, in their struggle.

Secondly, Euromaidan has clearly demonstrated to the whole world that Ukrainians do pursue democratic values and are strong enough to fight for their rights. Considering Ukraine’s Soviet past, people from other countries used to believe that Ukrainians are still mentally close to the Soviet culture, with its severe government control, low level of freedom, and citizens’ disinterest. However, Ukrainians have proved that they are eager to live in the free democratic environment and will not stay calm if their rights are being restricted. Unbelievable courage and great unity of Euromaidan made the international community not only support and sympathize with Ukrainian people but also reconsider the strength and power of the Ukrainian nation.

Finally, Euromaidan will be forever carrying a vital message for the Ukrainian politicians: people will not ignore government abusing its power. Specifically speaking, Euromaidan has succeeded in overthrowing the current president and his political regime. However, broadly speaking, the occurring events proved that Ukrainian people will not tolerate any government that operates opaquely and makes decisions contrary to citizens’ interests. This revolution will never be forgotten and will always remind future politicians what reaction to their irresponsible and unreasonable policies could be, therefore, preventing them from making serious mistakes.

To sum up, Euromaidan, which is, actually, still not over, will forever remain in the world’s history and people’s memory. Despite the fact that it is still not obvious what the final result of the last events will be, it is crucial to realize that the major achievement of the revolution is not only the overthrow of the old political regime; in fact, we gained more, much more.

 

This essay is part of a series of student writing on the Euromaidan, part of the the Student Views of Euromaidan project.

For more information on this series and a full index of contributions, please see the introductory post.

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