When My People Go

Photo: Евромайдан / Euromaidan. Illustration for Tetyana Kalytenko's "When My People Go"
Евромайдан / Euromaidan. Source: torange.us

Tetyana Kalytenko
Faculty of Humanities,
Master Program (1st year),
from Kyiv

There is no arguing with the fact that during the struggle for democracy that Ukraine has recently been going through, EuroMaidan has become a unique phenomenon and a sacred place of spiritual rebirth for my nation, where one can experience the Ukrainian culture expressed so vividly in people’s holy love for freedom in spirit, word and deed!

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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

Euromaindan: Revision of the World Diplomac

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Nazar Gavryshko
National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
Faculty of Computer Sciences
Master Program (1st year)
from Kamyanka Buzkatown, Lviv region

The whole world was watching dramatic events happening in Ukraine during the last three months when Ukrainian Maidan revealed the weakness of the world diplomacy nobody had talked about before.

First of all, the system of international deals has appeared to be broken. Ukraine was guaranteed to be protected by USA, Great Britain and Russia as a member of Budapest memorandum, 1994. But, as we see now, the Russian Federation, which was a guarantor of Ukrainian sovereignty, is performing direct aggression against Ukraine by annexing Crimea region. At the same time the USA and Great Britain fold their hands just watching and being deeply concerned. So, we can tell that international deals made even between such world giants as the USA, Russia and Great Britain do not guarantee safety and territorial integrity. Read more

Great Revolution of Minds

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Kate Dremova
National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
Faculty of Computer Sciences
Master Program (1st year)
from Kyiv city

Euromaidan was not only a revolution on the street as a sociopolitical phenomenon which caused changes in the Ukrainian government; it has become a great revolution in the minds of Ukrainian people. As a result, they have discarded a lot of prejudices, have become extremely consolidated in their actions, and have deeply realized their Ukrainian identity.

Firstly, there were a lot of people of different nationalities, languages and views of Maidan. The majority of them came to support in spite of fear at heart. Ukrainians showed kindness, sincerity, and open-mindedness. They welcomed everyone with open heart and they were seen as peaceful and intelligent people. Read more

Volunteer’s View of EuroMaidan

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Oleksandra Chubenko
National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
Faculty of Social Sciences and Social Technologies
Master Program (2nd year)
from Cherkassy

In 1963, a civil rights activist Martin Luther King delivered his famous speech for thousands of Afro-Americans asking them to stand up from their knees and become free at last. Now, in 2013, millions of Ukrainian citizens united to express their solidarity with the principles proclaimed in Luther’s speech.

Ukrainian struggle for freedom began in November 2013, when the peaceful demonstrations for Euro-integration unexpectedly resulted in violent wrestles between Maidan activists and military forces. The consequences were more than dramatic: almost 100 people perished, more than 300 went missing whereas tens of others are still in hospitals fighting for their lives. That was a turning point in the history of independent Ukraine, as millions of Ukrainian patriots went out into the streets to show their disobedience with the President’s decisions.

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Euromaidan through the eyes of students

Essay Series: “Euromaidan through the eyes of students”

944785_3Today we present the first of a series of essays about the impact of Euromaidan as seen through the eyes of graduate students at NAUKMA.  Every day in May we shall post additional essays, composed for an English writing class, to share their lived experiences, reflections and insights about Ukraine and its future.  The genesis of this project came from their instructors.  All essays were written at the end of March 2014.

Євромайдан очима студентів

Сьогодні ми презентуємо  першу серію есеїв про плив Євромайдану та його сприйняття студентами Національного університету “Києво-Могилянська академія”. Кожного дня впродовж травня ми будемо публікувати нові есеї, які були написані у рамках курсу англійського письма, аби поділитися своїм життєвим досвідом, роздумами про Україну та її майбутнє. Ідею написати есеї студентам запропонували їх викладачі.  Усі есеї були напасні наприкінці березня у 2014 році.

 

For more information, please see the Student Views of Euromaidan project page.

Essay Index

Viktoriia Biliaieva – “Getting Violent” (May 13, 2014)

Yuriy Borodulin – “The Wind of Changes vs The Wind of Shame” (May 13, 2014)

Andriy Buniak – “Ukrainians Before and After Euromaidan” (May 13, 2014)

Oleksandra Chubenko – “Volunteer’s View of Euromaidan” (May 14, 2014)

Kate Dremova – “Great Revolution of Minds” (May 16, 2014)

Nazar Gavryshko – “Euromaindan: Revision of the World Diplomac” (May 18, 2014)

Ann Hnedkova – “Euromaidan: Impossible is Possible” (May 20, 2014)

Olena Iagniuk – “Euromaidan: What We Gained” (May 21, 2014)

Tetyana Kalytenko – “When My People Go” (May 22, 2014)

Mariya Kharitonyuk – “Love in the Time of War” (May 23, 2014)

Anna Lachykhina – “Three Fears Which Came True During Euromaidan” (May 25, 2014)

Denys Mekhed – “Truth About EuroMaidan” (May 27, 2014)

Anna Pastyria – “Becoming a New Patriot” (May 29, 2014)

Bogdana Poberezhna – “Euromaidan and Youth’s New Way of Thinking” (May 31, 2014)

Yelyzaveta Taranukha – “Euromaidan and Ukrainian History” (June 2, 2014)

Olexandra Tsekhanovska – “Information War on Euromaidan in Russia” (June 8, 2014)

Nataliia Vladimirova – “True Freedom Fighters” (June 8, 2014)

Olga Vynogradova – “EuroMaidan: Revolution of Selfless, Generous and Fearless Ordinary People” (June 13, 2014)

Ukrainians Before and After Euromaidan

Andriy Buniak
National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
Faculty of Computer Sciences
Master Program in
Information Control Systems and Technologies (1st year)
from Volodymyr-Volynsky town, Volyn’ region

One of the most significant achievements the Euromaidan resulted in was the dramatic change, the evolution of the Ukrainians as a nation. Considering the national spirit’s strength, the feeling of unity and the struggle of democratic changes, the Ukrainians have become one nation in the terms of a few months.

Firstly, the spirit of the Ukrainians have evolved significantly. After the Orange revolution, which definitely brought nothing but disappointment to the major part of its participants, the morale of the nation was heavily damaged. Ukrainians felt cheated and frustrated that resulted in many years of apathy and despair considering political activity. Even the first steps of Euromaidan were met with a bit of skepticism due to the comparisons with the past failures. Nevertheless, long tough months of revolution 2014 have changed the minds even of the strongest critics. The dedication and courage shown on the Independence Square inspired the increase of patriotism throughout the whole country. Today despite all the tough circumstances the victory was get in, the Ukrainians feel optimistic and confident as they have no moral right to fail with their political choice again. Read more

The Wind of Changes vs The Wind of Shame

Yuriy Borodulin,
National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
Faculty of Natural Sciences
Master Program of Chemistry (1st year)
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
From Kyiv region

Maidan as a social phenomenon is like the Wind of Changes; on the contrary, Antimaidan is just like the Wind of Shame for Ukraine.

First of all, Maidan was initiated by people`s will. Ukrainians could not bear anymore the political disorder, lies of the leaders of our country, and the corruptive schemes killing the future of Ukraine. In contrast to Maidan, Antimaidan was created by ruling political forces who had all the power in Ukraine. The people of Antimaidan were gathered for payment, and they had nothing in their minds except money.

Secondly, Maidan took place on the central square of Kyiv, the place which became the symbol of Ukrainian revolution. The number of participants on Maidan reached more than one million, and everyone came here by their own wills. That fact proves high patriotism of Maidan people. As for the number of Antimaidan`s pseudopatriots, they hardly reached a few thousand. Antimaidan took place in Mariinsky park, where the people were organized to be delivered by trains and busses.

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Getting Violent

Viktoriia Biliaieva
National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
Faculty of Social Sciences and Social Technologies
Master Program of Political Science (1st year)
from Zaporizhzhia city

EuroMaidan started as a peaceful movement. No one could possibly think it would turn violent. But it did. By chance, I witnessed the first clash between protesters and Special Forces. On the one hand, I was shocked by such developments and terrified as my friends and I stood on the way of protesters in masks who were trying to run away from Berkut. But I have to admit it also appeared to be funny and exciting, and the second filling was dominant. Only the next day, when my friends and me watched videos and photos from the epicentre of the clash, we realised that we were in real danger, which brought doubts about the possibility to justify violence. That attitude changed again as violence proved to be needed in order for the revolution to win. That is why I feel that my attitude to violence as a means of achieving goals by people changed considerably in the course of the revolution from inability to imagine its use to understanding that it may be the only way to change the situation that cannot be changed otherwise. Read more