Dr. Serhy Yekelchyk “How a Plaza Became the Maidan: A Spatial History of Celebration and Protest in Modern Kyiv”

CIUS Events. Fall-Winter 2014 Seminar Series: September 10, 2014

Why did Kyiv’s Independence Plaza, or the Maidan, become the focus of mass protests during the Orange Revolution and the EuroMaidan? This talk will trace the changing geography of protest in Kyiv over the last century and explain the choice of protest venues through their relationship with traditional locations of festivities and sites of power.

Serhy Yekelchyk is Professor of Slavic Studies and History at the University of Victoria and the author of several books on Modern Ukrainian history, including, most recently, Stalin’s Citizens: Everyday Politics in the Wake of Total War (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Interview with Peter J. Roccia

An Interview with Peter J. Roccia on his May 2014 Trip to Ukraine

In May 2014, Dr. Peter J. Roccia (Assistant Professor, Communications, at MacEwan University) traveled to Kyiv, Ukraine. In this video interview, Dr. Roccia talks about his experience at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy as a visiting Canadian academic. Read more

EuroMaidan: Revolution of Selfless, Generous and Fearless Ordinary People

Photo: Barricade. Illustration for Olga Vynogradova's "EuroMaidan: Revolution of Selfless, Generous and Fearless Ordinary People"

Olga Vynogradova
Faculty of Social Sciences and Social Technologies,
Master Program of Sociology (1st year)
From Kyiv city

For the last several months, news about current events in Ukraine constantly get on the front pages of international newspapers. Some would claim that the reason for this only relates to the importance of those deep political changes. Nevertheless, have you ever wondered if there is something more, concerning Euromaidan, something special that makes the whole world talk about it? As I am Ukrainian, live in Kyiv and consider myself a patriot, from the first days of Euromaidan I followed the development of events and tried to be involved as much as I could. The participation gave me better understanding of everything currently happening on Maidan. What impressed me the most from the first days – Euromaidan, though aimed at political purposes, was never driven by any of the political parties or groups. The events were totally operated by ordinary Ukrainian citizens seeking positive changes in their country – selfless, honest, fearless and inspired. Read more

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. Read more

Euromaidan: Impossible Is Possible

Protesters on Hrushevskoho Street, January 24. Illustration for Ann Hnedkova's "Euromaidan: Impossible is Possible."
Protesters on Hrushevskoho Street, January 24. Source: Wired.com. Photographer: Brendan Hoffman

Ann Hnedkova
National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
Faculty of Humanities
Master Program of Philology (1st year)
from Kyiv city

Throughout Euromaidan Revolution, one question was verbalized or thought of by its participants more often than any other: “How is that possible?” The same question constantly interrupts my conversations with international friends about the recent Ukrainian events. It seems that the question is not going to lose its relevance after the Euromaidan phenomenon. That is why its origin, evolution, and meaning are needed to explain.

November 21, 2013. The question of possibility becomes a mover of people. The Ukraine’s suspense of European Union trade preparation is announced. Kyiv reacts with peaceful protests with European Union flags, student strikes, and the improvised stage at the Maidan Nezalezhnosti square. Dancing, singing the Hymn of Ukraine, and not leaving the square until our voices are being heard. How is that possible that the government does not react? Maybe it is worth arranging more peaceful meetings, encouraging more people to join, and waiting? Read more

Phase 1: Euromaidan and the Orange Revolution

Jeff Stepnisky

In a March 6 post I described research on what I called “The 4 Maidans.” In this post I consider elements of “Phase 1.” I look at the initial development of the Euromaidan movement and in particular its association with the Maidan Nezalezhnosti. I am interested in the ways that Euromaidan was framed during the first week of protests. More specifically, relying upon news articles collected through Brama.com, I describe the techniques used to connect the burgeoning Euromaidan movement with 2004’s Orange Revolution. The idea is that, at least in its earliest moments, the Euromaidan movement gained significance and legitimacy through connections that protesters, organizers, politicians and journalists made between the Orange Revolution and Euromaidan. Read more

The Four Maidans: Introductory comments

For sociologists, space is both a physical and a social construction. That is, space has both material and symbolic dimensions. For this reason, particular spaces can come to embody, express or carry within them shared meanings and identities. There is no better example of this phenomenon than the Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) which has undergone massive transformation – both physical and symbolic – over the past 5 months. Read more