Four years ago, on November 21, after the Ukrainian government suspended preparations for signing an Association Agreement with the European Union, the public rose up to protest. What started as a peaceful protest in favor of European integration turned into one of the most unprecedented revolutions in Ukraine’s history, known today as the Revolution of Dignity.
Hromadske gathered together its exclusive videos to commemorate the revolution.
1. On the evening of November 21, 2013, journalist (and now Ukrainian parliamentarian) Mustafa Nayyem used Facebook to call on people to come to the Maidan and protest. This was the start of the revolution.
2. The violent dispersal of peaceful student protesters on Maidan Square on November 30, 2013, enraged the public, which began to actively gather for protests against the President Viktor Yanukovych’s regime.
3. On December 1, the protests turned into a massive gathering in the city center. The rally turned into a revolution.
4. This is what a typical day of peaceful protest looked like on December 8, 2013: the pro-Maidan rally, the anti-Maidan rally, and the fall of the statue of Lenin.
5. As the protests dragged on, participants set up camp along Kyiv's central avenue to shelter themselves from the harsh Ukrainian winter weather. This Hromadske video shows a confrontation between protesters and police in the center of Kyiv near protest encampments.
6. Protesters barricaded the center of Kyiv to ward off any advancing police activity. On December 11, 2013, Interior Ministry troops began an attack in order to "beautify the area," dismantle the barricades and disperse the protesters. The attack was only semi-successful: the troops broke through some of the barricades and eventually managed to gain some ground into the Maidan protest camp, but they failed to break into the occupied Kyiv City Hall and the Trade Unions Building. The protest continued for several months after this.
7. In January 2014, the first killings occurred during a protest against the so-called "Dictatorial Laws” restricting public protest passed by the Ukrainian Parliament. Protesters Serhiy Nigoyan and Mikhail Zhyznewski were shot dead by police during this protest rally. They were the first deaths of the Maidan Revolution.
8. During Ukraine's EuroMaidan protests, a piano was set up near a line of Berkut, a regiment of police special forces. While protesters played the piano, police blasted back their own recorded music. The atmosphere between the two groups was tense.
9. February 18-20, 2014, are known as the bloodiest days of the Maidan protest. Over the course of three days, 73 civilians and 11 law enforcement officers were killed during clashes between police and protesters in Kyiv's city center. Police forces stand accused of illegally bearing arms against civilians protesting President Viktor Yanukovych, whose draconian anti-protest laws further agitated the confrontation. The protesters who were killed during Euromaidan are referred to as the "Nebesna Sotnia" (Heavenly Hundred).
10. Hromadske interviewed many friends and family members of protesters who were killed during the Maidan protests. Volodymyr Bondarchuk spoke with Hromadske about his father, Serhiy, a physics teacher from western Ukraine who traveled to Kyiv to join the EuroMaidan demonstrations.