Monday, December 16, 2013

Kharkiv EuroMaidan

Even the BBC is talking about Kharkiv's rather laid-back attitude towards EuroMaidan, but I'm going to change my stance a little and say that while the reaction here isn't like the massive patriotic fervour seen in the capital, opinions are nevertheless being expressed on the streets.

These stickers have popped up around town:
"Kharkiv Euromaidan, 6 PM, at the Shevchenko monument"
At first I wasn't sure what they meant- 6 PM when?- but guessed maybe they meant 6 PM daily. Sure enough, a few days later I ended up downtown at 7 PM and came across this crowd, complete with the mandatory loudspeaker-holding motivational speaker.

Nearby, students draped themselves in Ukrainian flags and tried to get honks from passing cars. On the whole, a very festive and upbeat atmosphere. There were police officers on the spot but they were relaxed, clustered together making small talk, holding lit cigarettes whose embers glowed against the dark night.

A volunteer gave a ribbon of support to my friend Maxine.

Another volunteer handed out a pamphlet outlining the recent events and the demands of the Euromaidan movement.
From the back- How you can help: tell those who don't follow the news, join the protest @ the Shevchenko monument from time to time, give warm things to those who occupy the square in Kiev, and "don't despair, inspire those close to you, believe in your children and friends who are trying today to save our future".

More info about Kharkiv's Euromaidan activities can be found on this FB page. According to that page, today (Dec 16th) will be the final protest in Shevchenko Park. 1,399 FB users have identified themselves as past or current attendees. That's a drop in the bucket compared to Kiev, but still, it's 1,399 people more than zero.


  1. Yulia and I just watched writer Oksana Zabuzhko speak at the EuroMaidan in Kharkiv. We watched it on YouTube. What an inspirational woman!

  2. Having lived in Ukraine 13 years and in many regions I can tell you there is much distaste and bitterness towards the demonstrators in Kiev. Students who don't work and who have never contributed a UAH in taxes !!! Go home, Kiev does not want YOU !!!! This deal with Russia 17/12/2013 is a good deal. The IMF wants utility prices to rise sharply hitting the poor and pensioners - but the students don't care about those people - only themselves - self centred MTV cultured students. Sorry but the other 45 million don't agree with you. Go to university and go home !!!!!!
    As for Klitschko and the Svoboda nationalists, they know nothing of economics and would destroy the country. Klitschko is simply an opportunist - go back to Germany where you lived for many years. Ukraine no longer wants you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Posted: Andy1000

    1. Hi dear anonymous, hello Katherine!
      It looks too presumptuous when one anonymous affirms that 45 million Ukrainian people share his opinion.
      It's even not about EU or Russia. It's all about the country people want to live in. Corrupted authorities, fraudulent elections, dictatorship police state, controlled media, no human rights like in Russia on the one hand and a wish to live in a developed democratic free country where laws protect the interests of people but not oligarchs and corrupted officials like in developed West Europe countries on the other hand.
      In my opinion a fence around the Christmas tree in Kharkiv shows us an attitude of local officials to freedom. The worst is that people ready to tolerate any suppression of their rights. OK, today they surround the central square with a fence and no one cares. What if tomorrow they start to place people into cages? I think a lot of people in eastern regions of Ukraine would not say a word against this. It's a soviet mentality, people ready to be slaves like in USSR.

    2. Yes...I agree with Andrew! I am excited that things are finally getting noisy in Kharkov. I was talking with my friends this morning in Novomoskovsk and they are starting to get into the spirit of it all too. It's high time people stood up against the corrupt government! Hurrah Ukraine! America is behind you!