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    Posted March 1, 2014 by
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Ukraine unrest

    MaiaKiev and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Ukraine crisis as it unfolds
    More from MaiaKiev

    Putin will fail in Ukraine again!


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     MaiaKiev was in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, on March 1st, when she captured these photographs. 'People are still coming with flowers and grieving for the heroes who laid their lives for free Ukraine. The streets are like rivers of flowers,' she said. Amid the mourning, she says there is growing tension amongst Ukrainians over Russia's potential interference in Ukraine. 'We talk to our friends who are in Crimea and they are terrified by what is going on there,' she said. But she is hopeful of Ukraine's resilience, even as Russia threatens to invade. 'Ten days ago we were surrounded on Maidan by 20,000 riot police and situation seemed hopeless for protesters, but then for no apparent reason riot police retreated and president Yanukovich ran. The system that looked unbeatable got defeated. We pray that the same will happen this time.'
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    It’s been 10 days since the most horrific events in Kiev. Ukrainians can hardly relax and celebrate as their ex-president Yanukovich, now wanted for mass murder of civilians, has resurfaced in Russia, claiming to still consider himself a president. That, of course, wouldn’t bother anybody since only Yanukovich himself and President Putin still hold on to that crazy idea. But the source of real tension and concern is Crimea where Russian troops have pretty much taken over the whole peninsula. It’s obvious that Putin is using the same scenario that he did invading Georgia in 2008. He just needs the slightest excuse to launch an aggressive attack. As is, Ukrainian military is not following Putin’s expectations and hopes. There hasn’t been a single shot made and it must be becoming harder for Putin to explain to the world what all his tanks, ships and troops are doing in Crimea blocking sea and land ways, paralyzing civilian air-ports and walking around with automatic weapons in the cities of Crimea. Ukraine is waiting for US and UK to speak up as they, along with Russian, are guarantors of independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine since 1994 when Ukraine has given up nuclear weapons.

    Meanwhile the heart of Ukraine, Independence Square (Maidan) is still in the process of recovery from battles of last months. The streets are still a sea of flowers and candles, many people are openly crying. Others came today with shovels and trash bags determined to clean the soot, remains of burned tires, broken stones and other debris of the war. That effort had a lot of enthusiasm and energy, and in a way it was therapeutic! This past week many people commented on how hard it was to move on, to get back to normal life and work after what happened on Feb 18-20. But we are gradually picking up pieces and moving on. Most weddings in Kiev now find their way to Maidan as newly weds come to give their gratitude and give honor to the heroes of Maidan. There are artists and sport activities, musicians are playing on “revolutionary” piano that is standing in the middle of the street.

    Reading articles on the web, opinions of experts, seeing footage of Russian soldiers occupying Crimea, it’s easy to despair. But coming to Maidan, being part of dirty work of cleaning, observing creativity and enthusiasm inspires hope. The air of Maidan is highly concentrated with aroma of freedom and unity. Looking into the faces of people, grieving, crying, praying, working, talking, serving each other, I had a very strong feeling that my people can’t be overcome. Putin will fail once again, like he already did several times when he worked through his marionette ex-president Yanukovich. God will grant Ukrainians victory over a great evil because like never before in 20+ years of independence and 70 years of Soviet regime Ukrainians are praying earnestly, asking God for forgiveness, protection and healing of their land!

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