Another uncertain weekend gone by, another Saturday and Sunday that fit the pattern:
Saturday = more or less normal, Sunday = mass protests, marches, violence.
There's something about Sundays... they've become a day to dread in eastern Ukraine. It's like Monday through Saturday people go to work and school, do the grocery shopping, live спокойно (calmly), and then Sunday comes and there's some madness in the air. It could be said that things are tense 24/7, but on Sundays people are ready for war.
Saturday @ Freedom Square:
We caught the tail end of the MTC Kharkiv International Marathon that afternoon.
Families, couples, and friends strolled through the mainly empty Freedom Square.
There were TONS of police in the area, most of them not on the streets but rather cooped up in buses and lounging near bus doors in riot gear. They seemed pretty relaxed, laughing and joking with each other.
A handful stood guard in front of a local government building. The Ukrainian flag fluttered in the breeze high above.
According to the official website, around 10,000 people- representing 16 countries!- took part in the race this year, including an 82-year-old and even a 3-month-old :p
It was 4 PM by the time we arrived, so the event was pretty much over. The bleachers were empty, a few dozen people were clumped around a stage with dancers, another dozen waited for friends and family at the finish line.
I wish we could have seen the energy and enthusiasm that were surely present that morning! Maybe we'll have to come back another year to cheer on the participants.
Did get to see a few runners though : )
|Props to this finisher!|
Another crowd lingered around Lenin, their usual placards and orange/black striped ribbons on display, but everyone was calm. Random pedestrians wandered through the mass of people and most of the crowd seemed content to watch the final marathoners jog by.
But that, of course, was Saturday.
Sunday @ Freedom Square:
warning: this video is quite violent : (
It happened here.
So as to not leave you on that totally dismal note, here are two good things, also from this weekend:
And who can resist tasty Ukrainian food?
|Rost supermarket café|