Euromaidan and Ukrainian History

Illustration for Yelyzaveta Taranukha's "Euromaidan and Ukrainian History."
Image source: TCH.ua

Yelyzaveta Taranukha
Faculty of Humanities
Master Program of Philology (1st year)
from Svatove town, Luhansk region

Each national history has lived through elevations and depressions during its self-development. Revolution as a form of national protest and as a kind of political transformation simultaneously tends to be both ups and downs. Although sudden changes ruin the way of living causing unpredictable events, Euromaidan has reconstituted Ukrainians into the nation. This page of Ukrainian history demonstrates our readiness to build the democracy and to rule the country, it indicates our becoming independent.

First of all, Euromaidan has started as students’ movement for Eurointegration that was intended to accept the European standards redirected into different spheres of Ukrainian social life, such as economics, politics, education, science, and health. After the day when signing the Eurointegration treaty failed, it became obvious that Ukraine is slowly reconverting to the USSR (or post-soviet) times. It was impossible to tolerate with, so Euromaidan couldn’t capitulate. It is paradoxical but if only the government had let the Eurointegration, real revolution would never have happened, it could have been avoided.

Secondly, Euromaidan was a protest against violence applied by the government to peaceful demonstrators who mostly were students, the youth of the nation, the future of Ukraine.

Thirdly, inasmuch as the violence was an irremissible sin, Euromaidan has evolved into revolution. Taking into consideration the events occurring during November and December of 2013 and January and February of 2014, it might be conscientiously considered that these months made a period of the most cruel government policy in Ukraine since independence had been gained. Consistently, Ukraine survived the turning point in its history, that’s why it became the matter of time how Ukrainians would deal with the tragedy occurred and which variant of country’s future development would be chosen. It is well-known that life and death always go hand in hand, and the death of old regime reciprocally ingenerates the new regime which repeatedly tends to oppose the previous policy. Under such circumstances, it is hoped that the totalitarian model of power defunction would be the democracy revival. Moreover, peace is expected after revolution and it is dreamt that the hundreds of Euromaidan heroes have lost their lives not in vain.

When Euromaidan events started, I could hardly believe it was really taking place in Ukraine. Firstly, I had never thought that XXI century might be cruel, especially after numerous facts of wars in all the previous centuries along the world history. Secondly, holding myself out as a representative of post-soviet generation I was always sure that Ukraine tends to be a democratic country and its government would never use violence in order to disperse peaceful demonstrators. Thirdly, I couldn’t prevent killing peaceful citizens who were staying for idea on Euromaidan at the cost of their lives, I was powerless. The perception of revolution could be compared to the ghastly dreams which suddenly turned into reality. My only fear was that the revolution would be suppressed by the old regime; in other words, I strongly apprehended that freedom would be forfeited forever.

So, what is Euromaidan for Ukrainian history? That is a turning-point while the new – Ukrainian – nation has risen; that is the birthday of democracy; that is the time of overcoming your own fear and going on living. Nowadays, while Russian invasion into Crimea is taking place, I pray for peace. We have just got a renewed government, we have only believed that changes might be for better, and like the bolt from the blue the new Crimea tragedy occurred. Yet, I still hope that Euromaidan is not for nothing.

To conclude, Euromaidan is a new branch in the Ukrainian history tree, and what would be its effects – let us wait and see.

 

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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