- Posted December 27, 2013 by
A Look Inside the EuroMaidan Protest in Kyiv
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
The protest in Kyiv has taken the central role in the pro-European, democratic upheaval that is transforming Ukraine. The capital city of Kyiv itself has dramatically changed since the protests started. An extensive infrastructure of the protest has arisen here, including the landmark Christmas tree, whose installation had served as a formal yet illegitimate pretext for the authorities to violently crack down upon the peaceful protesters on November 30, early in the morning at about 4 am. The spot where some of the protesters got brutally injured by the Ukrainian special security forces called Berkut is now referred to as the "place of weeping" and various reminders about those tragic events were put there.
Another symbolic feature of the Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv (Independence Square in Ukrainian) is the enormous barricades situated on all entrances to the revolutionary perimeter. There are numerous tents that provide warm clothes and food. The Kyiv's Mayor's office is now in use by the protesters. Some come there to get medical help, others to sleep. The protesters refuse to say that they have 'occupied' the mayor's office because legally it belongs to the community of Kyiv and those who normally work there are not prohibited from accessing their offices. Nevertheless, a court order has been issued to get the protesters out of this building, which the protesters continue to defy.
This Sunday, December 22, more than 200,000 people gathered for a rally to demand early presidential and parliamentary elections as well as the resignation of those responsible for the brutal attacks on protesters. Members of the informal steering committee of the protest in Kyiv decided during the rally on Sunday to establish a nation-wide non-governmental organization called 'Maidan'. The organization is meant to become a vast pro-democracy movement similar to that of Solidarnosc in Poland.
The Government has decided to take some safety measures against the protesters like fencing off the part of the city that includes important central government buildings such the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. The outcome of the protests in Ukraine, sometimes referred to as the European Revolution, remains to be seen - but hopefully it will help to undermine the vicious circle of total corruption and widespread poverty in Ukraine.