Love in the Time of War

Photo: A couple embrace on the Euromaidan. Illustration for Mariya Kharitonyuk's "Love in the Time of War."
A couple embrace on the Euromaidan. Source:

Mariya Kharitonyuk
Faculty of Humanities,
Master Program of Philology (1st year),
from Lutsk city, Volyn’ region

A title of this essay is the name of a song written by Boris Grebenshikov, leader of Russian rock band ‘Aquarium’. He has created this music composition specially for Ukraine and dedicated it to Maidan’s events. I want these words to commence my essay and become its main idea. It is really difficult to write my own opinion on this piece of paper, because here Maidan is merely the space for my thoughts, but those people have lived on Maidan. Or died there.

To begin with, I would like to note that I will be speaking about two Maidans: Euro-  and Post-Euro Maidans.

Initially, when all these events just occurred in November, I have heard accusation that I am “against Euro Maidan”. Because I was not screaming revolutionary calls, but repeating the words similar to Skriabin’s  “You had the country, make order in your head” or Gandhi’s “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. Really, I am not a member of a visible revolution, revolution on the legs and with arms, but I am an accomplice in its desires, movements or changes. It is invisible revolution which has to be carried out in our hearts and heads, and then we will have a good harvest in global framework. Thus, I can understand those “Euro Maidan” people and their impulses. But, to my mind, Ukraine has never been Europe. Today we have a chance to lose our authenticity and transform into maybe a fortunate, but monotonous mass. This issue touches our own culture, customs, faith, and mental identity, the identity of our roots, but not purity in government, purity in wages, cleanliness in hospitals, and cleanliness in parks. The last concepts are really important, but it does not Europe’s deal; this is our mental trouble and for the treatment we shouldn’t plead a “foreign man” to arrive and invent new laws for us — WE  have to become the law. And we have become. Love is…

When violence was made to students (29-30th of November) Maidan regenerated. Maidan was seeking for justice. Tried to win by piece and prayer. But obtained the stones.

This Maidan demonstrated people who gave their lives for their country. And, in my opinion, it became a point of no return to previous life; sad, dark point, but point of perpetual reminder that we should not only change our political power, but alter our style of life, style of greeting each other – with peace and sacrifice. Love is…

It is important to add, that our “foreign man” or “a group of European consultants” have assisted our country many times in this complicated period. Love is…

And my last comment about the situation related to Crimea. Maybe, if the vast majority of the Ukrainians hugged “the little man” with love – as famous little men in political history, transparently, often suffered from the lack of love –  and repeated this deed long time, I assume, he would cease his precipitant Monopoly game.

Overall, love is… And she will win.


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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