Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year

It was wonderful to spend New Year's Eve on the Maidan in Kyiv.  By coincidence, my friends told me that their apartment would be empty for the New Year holiday and that they would gladly leave me their keys.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to spend the New Year holiday in Kyiv and to see the Revolution.

Ukrainians celebrate New Year 2014 in Euromaidan from Maria Komar - on Vimeo.

Together with 500,000 friends, we sang the national anthem in an attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.  A persistent problem of the revolution has been that the Russian and current Ukrainian government officials (and even some of the press) are desperate to downplay the events in Kyiv.  On Sunday's rally, it was wall to wall people in an area the size of a football stadium, and newspapers reported that "a few thousand" people showed up.

Really, words cannot express how truly beautiful the Maidan is.  There is something so astoundingly beautiful about hundreds of thousands of people standing up for their rights and for the rights of others.  Only a few were beaten and imprisoned (although that list continues to slowly grow - a journalist was dragged from her car and savagely beaten on Christmas Eve, and people are being taken to court for such ridiculous reasons as Facebooking about the Revolution and holding pictures of the President upside down) yet all who stand on the Maidan stand for those people.

I hope that you continue to keep Ukraine and our Revolution in your prayers.

Here I am with the symbol of this revolution, the Yolka.  On Bloody Saturday, the government officials scrambled for a legitimate reason for violently dispersing the crowd: they said that they had to put up the Christmas tree.  

One famous Ukrainian musician quickly took to twitter to ask why the Ukrainian people would want a Christmas tree in a pool of their own blood.  When the protesters took back the Maidan after several hours, the Christmas tree hadn't been completed yet.  The protesters covered the structure in flags and banners.  Near the center is a banner with the photo of the former Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, as of today she has been a political prisoner for 879 days.  

The revolution continues.  I'm heading back to Kyiv later this week or next.  I hope that your New Year was also special. 

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