The Euromaidan Revolution in Ukraine: Stages of the Maidan Movement and Why They Constitute a Revolution
Stage IV: Revolutionary Ousting
Narrative: 21 Feb. 2014 - 1 March 2014
On 21 February an activist climbed onto the stage on Maidan Nezalezhnosti and warned that if President Yanukovych did not resign by 10:00 the next day, an armed coup would be staged. “Either he resigns, or we take him away!” the activist shouted into the crowd.86 When night fell, Maidan lit up as 50,000 people raised their lighters and lit candles to commemorate the 82 individuals who had lost their lives since the onset of EuroMaidan on 21 November 2013, with most of the casualties occurring just in the days before on 19 and 20 February.87 They called the dead the “heaven’s battalion,” a name that reflected the military clothing Maidan had assumed over the course of the revolutionary process, and these protesters standing on barricades were ready to give their lives, too, if morning came and President Yanukovych had not resigned.
However, on 22 February President Yanukovych was gone, as was the Interior Minister Zakharchenko, the Prosecutor General Pshonka, and half of the Party of Regions ministers. The hundreds of police officers guarding the presidential compound and nearby government buildings had also vanished. The Maidan self-defence units peacefully took control of Kyiv and stood guard while parliament voted 328-0 to impeach President Yanukovych.88Between 22 and 23 February parliament passed a number of sweeping laws: Yulia Tymoshenko was immediately released from prison, Oleksandr Turchynov was appointed as the interim President, Arseniy Yatseniuk as interim Prime Minister, the 2004 constitution was restored, Russian was controversially removed as an official language, and elections for a new government were set for 25 May 2014.89 Prime Minister Yatseniuk announced that Ukraine would be signing the association agreement with the EU as soon as possible. A crowd of 1,000 people gathered at Mezhyhyria, the multimillion-dollar estate abandoned by Yanukovych, announcing that the complex now belonged to the people.90 The oligarchs who had stood by Yanukovych’s side over the course of the revolutionary process now sought to redeem their public image. Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man and a long-time ally of Yanukovych, released a public statement which read: “My position remains unchanged: I am for a strong, independent and united Ukraine. Today I place a special focus on the word united as this has never been more important.”91 On the evening of 22 February Tymoshenko, the “goddess of the Orange Revolution,” was released from prison and came to Maidan to give a speech:
We now have an open way to build Ukraine the way we want it. We know politicians are not trusted. Therefore we have to stand here till the end. You have deserved to run your own country. If government and parliament is composed without your participation, it will not be just.92
It was true, the people did not trust the politicians, and when Tymoshenko yelled “Heroes will never die!” many in the audience did not respond. Yuriy Lutsenko, a former Interior Minster who had been a leading personality in EuroMaidan since beginning, then came on stage and said to the people: “The 22nd of February is the date of the birth of a new Ukraine.” How this new Ukraine would look was not clear.
Liberation vs. Foundation
In On Revolution, Arendt draws a distinction between the act of liberation and foundation. She considers liberation as the negation of the existing power structure, whereas foundation is the positive act of constituting something new. Arendt states that it is pivotal “in our understanding of revolutions in the modern age that…the idea of freedom and the experience of a new beginning should coincide.”93 Was freedom the aim of EuroMaidan, i.e. did the Ukrainian people desire more than mere liberation, and if so, did they achieve the foundation of their freedom? First we must examine what is meant by freedom. Arendt argues that “to be free is not merely to be unobstructed; it is to take positive action with others.”94
It may be a truism to say that liberation and freedom are not the same; that liberation may be the condition of freedom but by no means leads automatically to it; that the notion of liberty implied in liberation can only be negative. Yet if these truisms are frequently forgotten, Arendt suggests that it is because liberation has always been tangible, whereas the foundation of freedom has always been uncertain.95 Yet, as the Marquis de Condorcet said during the French Revolution in 1789: “The term “revolutionary” can only be applied to revolutions whose aim is freedom.”96
The protesters on Maidan exercised their freedom during the first three stages of the revolutionary process—onset, popularization, and radicalization—in establishing a public space and acting in concert. The revolutionary ousting of the Yanukovych regime after three months of popular demonstrations by the Ukrainian people was an act of liberation; whether the foundation of the Winter Revolution occurred is an issue of debate. One could argue that the adoption of the 2004 constitution represents this foundation, or that the elections to a new government on 25 May 2014 will be this act, or even that foundation will only be secured once the legitimacy of the new authorities in Kyiv is accepted by all Ukrainians.97
However, Arendt notes that “nothing threatens the very achievement of revolution more dangerously and more acutely than the spirit which has brought them about.” Should freedom, then, in its most exalted sense as freedom to act be the price to be paid for foundation? This perplexity—namely, that the principle of public freedom, without which no revolution would ever have come to pass, should remain the privilege of the generation of the founders—has haunted all revolutionary thinkers since the late eighteenth century.98 In Ukraine, freedom will likely be the price to pay for foundation. Thus, the events in Ukraine between 21 November 2013 and 1 March 2014 may not have been “revolutionary” in Condorcet’s terms, but they certainly represented a revolution.
The End of Revolution, the Onset of Counter-Revolution
Krejci argues in Great Revolutions Compared that the revolutionary process can be regarded as concluded only when the main issues which caused the revolution have lost their acuteness and other issues have become matters of primary concern, or, “when the main principles which the revolution has established cease to be matters of controversy.”99 That is, the overthrow of a regime does not mean the end of the revolutionary process. This process has now taken new form due to Russian involvement and the emergence of counter-revolutionary forces in Ukraine. The term “counter-revolutionary” is here used theoretically and does not imply negative connotations.
The history of revolution teaches us that counter-revolution has always remained bound to revolution just as reaction is bound to action. In Ukraine the counter-revolutionary forces were those who did not regard the new “revolutionary” authorities in Kyiv as legitimate, and they expressed their opposition to Maidan by calling for the federalization of Ukraine. Federalization can be considered as counter-revolutionary due to the nationalist colours Maidan had assumed, i.e. many Ukrainians considered the ousting of President Yanukovych as the confirmation of Ukraine’s independence.100
The Ukrainian Front was the first counter-revolutionary body to emerge on 4 February in the eastern city of Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine.101 Anti-Maidan movements in the south and east of Ukraine were supported by Moscow, and galvanized by the visible presence of the far-right on Maidan and the seeming nationalist monopolization of the narrative of Maidan. Parliament’s repeal on 23 February of the law denoting Russian as the second official language of Ukraine confirmed to many in the south and east their distrust of the new authorities in Kyiv.102 In light of these developments, the invasion of the Crimean peninsula by Russia on 1 March 2014 can be considered the onset of a new stage in the revolutionary process in Ukraine.
Moscow justified its military intervention with the pretence of “protecting ethnic Russians from the fascists in Kyiv.” Notably, Moscow considers the ousting of President Yanukovych as a Western-orchestrated coup d’état, and does not recognize the legitimacy of the new government in Kyiv. Russia’s involvement has since deteriorated the situation in eastern Ukraine, with pro-Russian separatists occupying key government buildings across the south and east of the country.103 Effectively, Russia’s actions have exaggerated and solidified the nationalist narrative of Maidan. Nevertheless, evidence suggests that the vast majority of Ukrainians wish to remain Ukrainian, even if they do not approve of the new government in Kyiv.104
Lynn Hunt described the narrative of the Great French Revolution as a Greek drama: it began as a comedy, turned into a romance, and the final act was a tragedy.105 Considering the Winter Revolution in Ukraine, I suggest that the drama of Maidan began as a romance—in light of the popular participation, the festive mood, and the belief that radical change was possible; then Maidan became a tragedy—the “dictatorship laws” criminalized its efforts, the far-right assumed an ever greater role, and then there were the countless dead; in the last act, it is not yet clear whether Maidan will turn into a farce like the Orange Revolution did, or worse, lead to the fragmentation of Ukraine. War with Russia is unlikely but not entirely so. Time will tell, for the revolutionary process that began on 21 November 2013 has not yet ended. In this volatile situation, it is all the more important that the story of Maidan is told accurately, and that it is not held captive to a “war of narratives.” I attempt to do just this, to nuance the discussion on Maidan in the context of revolutionary theory, and thereby to determine its true form.
Maidan gave birth to a revolution. It communicated to millions of Ukrainians the possibility of a radical break with the past achieved by the conscious will of human actors. The Ukrainian people stood up to their oppressive government, sought to hold it accountable, stop the incessant corruption, and correct the arbitrary rule of law. Ultimately, there was a popular desire to “change life in Ukraine,” and tens of thousands of Ukrainians risked their lives to win this change. In so doing, in acting in concert, they exercised their freedom in direct opposition to President Yanukovych. And the more power the Yanukovych regime lost, the more violent it became, until all its power had shifted to the streets and into the hands of the people.
Thus, in the final moment, Maidan ousted those in power and brought about “sweeping dramatic change:” a new constitution, an active civil society, and a new European future. The memory of Maidan will not soon be forgotten. However, while liberation was won, the process of foundation is still underway, and in the face of counter-revolutionary forces, the achievements of the revolution still have to be consolidated. The revolutionary process walks on, but whatever the direction it chooses, Ukraine’s Winter Revolution is a “true event whose stature will not depend upon victory or defeat; its greatness is secure in the tragedy it enacted.”106
1.) The author is conscious of the fact that this is a contentious position to hold, for it rests on an understanding of “political legitimacy”—essentially democratic, i.e. the government is popular amongst its electorate—that is not definite and, therefore, not universally understood in such terms.
2.) Ilan Rachum, “The Meaning of “Revolution” in the English Revolution, 1648-1660,” Journal of the History of Ideas, vol. 56 (1995): p. 214.
3.) Ibid, p. 211.
4.) Keith M. Baker, Inventing the French Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), p. 206.
5.) Hannah Arendt, On Revolution (New York: Penguin Books, 2006), p. 18.
6.) Ibid, p. 34.
7.) The displacement of the narrative from the political to the social, from the vicissitudes of thrones and governments to the progress of civil society, lay at the heart of Enlightenment thinking. Baker, Inventing the French Revolution, p. 212.
8.) Robin Okey, The Demise of Communist East Europe: 1989 in Context (London: Hodder Arnold, 2004), p. viii.
9.) While I disagree with Krejci’s attempt to develop a general revolutionary theory, his work does provide a number of valuable insights.
10.) Krejci suggests that revolution against sovereign authorities in the home country can be called “vertical revolution,” and revolution against sovereign authorities seated in another country “horizontal revolution.” Krejci suggests that only revolution in which action is initiated from below can be considered as a revolution in the proper sense of the word. Action from above and from the side can be styled as revolutions only in a broader meaning. Revolutions that are both vertical and horizontal, or started both from below and from above, may be described as “hybrid revolutions.” Jaroslav Krejci, Great Revolutions Compared: The Outline of a Theory (New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1994), pp. 7-11.
11.) Ibid, p. 6.
12.) I constructed the narrative of the EuroMaidan Revolution, from 21 November 2013 to 1 March 2014, using a broad selection of media sources. The fact that these events are so current, and that the author does not speak Ukrainian or Russian, necessitated this primary focus on media sources. The greatest part of information was taken from the Kyiv Post, Russia Today, and EuroNews, all of which provided relatively objective coverage of the events in Ukraine. Kyiv Post has a slight European bias in its coverage, which is effectively complemented in the author’s research by using RT, which has a Russian bias. Among what is broadly defined as “Western” media, EuroNews provides a balanced coverage of the Ukraine crisis. Yet, considering the “haze of propaganda” to which the Maidan revolution has been subjected, i.e. a war of narratives, it becomes inherently complicated to construct a narrative that is neutral and informative, while still coherent and compelling. Nevertheless, I sought to do so to the best of his abilities, notably in fact-checking information by diversifying sources. A further difficulty in constructing this narrative—in fact, any narrative, is selection, i.e. what to include and what no to. The focus of this paper is on “revolution,” hence, the focus of the narrative is on the revolutionary elements of the events in Ukraine between November 2013 and March 2014. Having said this, the conceptual analysis of the events in Ukraine has been purposefully separated from the narrative so as not to distort the narrative—its coherence, and more importantly, its neutrality. Timothy Snyder, “Ukraine: The Haze of Propaganda,” NY Books, March 1, 2014, accessed March 11, 2014, http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/mar/01/ukraine-haze-propaganda/.
13.) Katya Gorchinskaya, “No Deal,” Kyiv Post, Nov. 21, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/no-deal-2-332280.html; Anastasia Forina and Oksana Grytsenko, “Nine Years After Start of Orange Revolution, Kyivans Take to Streets in Protest of Scuttled EU Deal,” Kyiv Post, Nov. 22, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/nine-years-after-start-of-orange-revolution-kyivans-take-to-streets-in-protest-of-scuttled-eu-deal-332282.html; Katya Gorchinskaya, “Echoes of Orange Revolution: Volunteers Kick into Action for EuroMaidan Protests,” Kyiv Post, Nov. 24, 2013, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/volunteers-who-run-euromaidan-332400.html.
14.) The rapid appearance and organization of EuroMaidan is primarily an achievement of social networks and online media. The Facebook posts of Mustafa Nayem on 21 November, in which he called on others to go to Independence Square, got more than 1,000 shares in several hours. The official “EuroMaidan” Facebook page became the fastest growing page in Ukraine: between its launch on 21 November and 29 November, it attracted 102,000 subscribers. This suggests that during the first stage of the revolutionary process, the protests attracted primarily Ukraine’s younger and middle-class population. Kateryna Kapliuk, “Role of social media in EuroMaidan movement essential,” Kyiv Post, Dec. 1, 2013, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/role-of-social-media-in-euromaidan-movement-essential-332749.html.
15.) Katya Gorchinskaya, “Echoes of Orange Revolution: Volunteers Kick into Action for EuroMaidan Protests,” Kyiv Post, Nov. 24, 2013, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/volunteers-who-run-euromaidan-332400.html. The Orange Revolution, despite its name, was in fact not a revolution. It was a series of mass demonstrations between late-November 2004 and January 2005 that called for a re-run of presidential elections that had, in the first run, been marred by corruption, voter intimidation, and electoral fraud. The Supreme Court approved a new round of elections in which the pro-EU candidate Viktor Yushchenko (who was allied with Yulia Tymoshenko) defeated Viktor Yanukovych. In general, the “Orange Maidan” movement was defined by popular civil action but its scope remained limited to immediate political demands. Paul D’Anieri, Understanding Ukrainian Politics: Power, Politics, and Institutional Design (New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2007), p. 82.
16.) Daryna Shevchenko, “Vox Populi: How should the nation react to police violence against protesters?” Kyiv Post, Nov. 30, 2013, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/vox-populi-with-daryna-shevchenko-how-should-the-nation-react-to-the-violent-night-events-at-maidan-nezalezhnosti-332711.html.
17.) Sociologists at the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, who questioned 1,037 Ukrainian protesters, concluded that the decision by the Ukrainian authorities to disperse the peaceful demo with force was a big mistake. “When we asked people why they joined the rally, 70 percent said they came because they were angry with the dispersal of the peaceful pro-EU demo on November 30. 54 percent of people said it was the Ukrainian president’s refusal to sign the Association Agreement with the EU, and the third reason for coming to Independence Square is a will to change life in Ukraine,” said sociologist Yulia Ilchuk. “Ukrainian opposition uses polls to bolster cause,” EuroNews, December 12, 2013, accessed April 26, 2014, http://www.euronews.com/2013/12/13/ukrainian-opposition-uses-polls-to-bolster-cause/.
18.) “Police violently break up Independence Square protests at 4 a.m. today; many injuries reported,” Kyiv Post, Nov. 30, 2013, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/reports-police-forcefully-break-up-protest-site-on-maidan-nezalezhnosti-this-morning-332674.html.
19.) Katya Gorchinskaya and Oksana Grytsenko, “Government admits helplessness, asks for a new deal with Europe,” Kyiv Post, Dec. 2, 2013, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/government-admits-helplessness-asks-for-a-new-deal-with-europe-332858.html.
20.) Krejci, Great Revolutions Compared, pp. 31-36.
21.) Ukraine had had a brief spell of independence between 1917 to 1921, before being defeated by the Red Army and becoming a member of the Soviet Union. Andrew Wilson, The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation (London: Yale University Press, 2009), p. 22.
22.) The revolutionary process of Maidan can be argued to have begun on 1 December 1991, when the 90 percent of Ukrainians voted for independence from the Soviet Union in a national referendum. In this view, the Winter Revolution in Ukraine (2013-2014) was a confirmation of Ukraine’s independence from its powerful eastern neighbour Russia, i.e. a confirmation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. This notion of sovereignty, however, cannot be primarily considered as a rejection of Russia—which is not the case—but as an internal process of nation-building, i.e. drawing national consensus and defining national identity.
23.) The 1990s were a period of economic turmoil in Ukraine: by the end of the decade, the economy had shrunk to one third of its pre-1991 level. Serhy Yekelchyk, Ukraine: Birth of a Modern Nation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 43.
24.) “Ukraine: State of Chaos,” Aljazeera, 2012, (update January 15, 2014), accessed March 23, 2014, http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/witness/2012/11/2012112261029228352.html.
25.) “Profile: Ukraine's ousted President Viktor Yanukovych,” BBC News, February 28, 2014, accessed March 23, 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-25182830.
26.) EU or IMF conditions on loans would not have favoured President Yanukovych’s increasingly authoritarian leadership. What is more, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin had ambitions to create a Eurasian Union, and Ukraine could not be both a member of both Putin’s union and the European Union. Peter Leonard, “IMF offers Ukraine up to $18 billion in loans,” Yahoo News, March 27, 2014, accessed April 2, 2014, http://news.yahoo.com/imf-offers-ukraine-18-billion-loans-082715644.html.
27.) Krejci, Great Revolutions Compared, p. 35.
28.) “Ukrainian opposition uses polls to bolster cause,” EuroNews, December 12, 2013, accessed April 26, 2014, http://www.euronews.com/2013/12/13/ukrainian-opposition-uses-polls-to-bolster-cause/.
29.) Krejci, Great Revolutions Compared, p. 35.
30.) Ibid, p. 33.
31.) Katya Gorchinskaya and Oksana Grytsenko, “Government admits helplessness, asks for a new deal with Europe,” Kyiv Post, Dec. 2, 2013, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/government-admits-helplessness-asks-for-a-new-deal-with-europe-332858.html.
32.) Arendt, On Revolution, p. 42.
33.) The four largest TV channels in Ukraine, Inter, ICTV, 1+1, and Ukraiina TV, are owned by the country’s oligarchs. The channels thus effectively act as weathervanes for which way the political winds are blowing. If the channels are reporting censored news on EuroMaidan, this means that their owners are are betting their stakes on President Yanukovych. If they are reporting relatively objective news, this suggests that the oligarchs see the possibility of power shifting and are watching and waiting to see what happens. All the major channels, except for ICTV, reported objectively on the mass demonstration on 1 December, Inter even encouraged viewers to attend the rally. However, by mid December the news again became visibly censored, suggesting that the oligarchs perceived the momentum to be with the Yanukovych-Azarov regime, not with EuroMaidan. Mary Mycio, “News analysis: A television news breakthrough,” Kyiv Post, Dec. 7, 2013, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/news-analysis-a-television-news-breakthrough-333200.html.
34.) A survey of protesters conducted on the 7 and 8 December found that 92% of those who came to Kiev from across Ukraine came on their own initiative, and 8% came as part of a political party or civil society organization. In terms of cause, 70% said they came to protest the police brutality of 30 November, and 54% to protest in support of the EU Association Agreement signing. Among their demands, 82% wanted detained protesters freed, 80% wanted the government to resign, and 75% want president Yanukovych to resign and for snap elections. “EuroMaidan rallies in Ukraine - Dec.9,” Kyiv Post, Dec. 10, 2013, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/euromaidan-rallies-in-ukraine-live-updates-332341.html.
35.) Olga Rudenko, “Another Sunday, another big rally,” Kyiv Post, Dec. 15, 2013, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/another-sunday-another-big-rally-333740.html.
36.) EuroMaidan kept its resolve, captured here by one plain-spoken protester on 15 December: “[The authorities] don’t listen to us at all. So we must stay here until they start listening.” Ibid.
37.) Daryna Shevchenko and Olena Goncharova, “Chief prosecutor Pshonka gives his version of Nov. 30-Dec. 1 EuroMaidan violence,” Kyiv Post, Dec. 20, 2013, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/chief-prosecutor-pshonka-gives-his-version-of-nov-30-dec-1-euromaidan-violence-334043.html.
38.) On 25 December the journalist and activist Tetiana Chornovol, who was investigating the luxurious homes of top Ukrainian officials, was brutally attacked on her way home by a group of men. Ibid.
39.) Bandera is a controversial historical figure who collaborated with the Nazi’s during the Second World War and is considered by many Ukrainians, especially in the east, with contempt.
40.) Democratic Initiatives Foundation, December 8, 2013, accessed, April 12, 2014, http://www.dif.org.ua/en/events/gvkrlgkaeths.htm.
41.) Pro-government rallies that did occur were no larger than 20,000, and there is ample evidence that many pro-government protesters were paid for their services. Daryna Shevchenko and Olena Goncharova, “Chief prosecutor Pshonka gives his version of Nov. 30-Dec. 1 EuroMaidan violence,” Kyiv Post, Dec. 20, 2013, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/chief-prosecutor-pshonka-gives-his-version-of-nov-30-dec-1-euromaidan-violence-334043.html.
42.) President Yanukovych had only suspended three lower level officials in response to the 30 November police assaults; meanwhile, dozens of activists remained in prison. Ibid.
43.) On 9 January government hired thugs, “titushki,” violently broke up a EuroMaidan forum in Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine. Oksana Grytsenko, “Smashed windows, tear gas accompany EuroMaidan forum in Kharkiv,” Kyiv Post, Jan. 11, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/smashed-windows-tear-gas-accompany-euromaidan-forum-in-kharkiv-334870.html.
44.) On 5 January EuroMaidan activists called for a boycott of Inter TV, Ukraine’s most viewed channel, due to increasingly biased coverage. The statement reads: “During the recent weeks, the [Inter] channel’s editorial policy has undergone catastrophic changes. Without any objective reasons, the issue of Maidan has disappeared from the news. If covered, it does so in such a distorted way that it has nothing to do with the reality.” On 24 December a longtime associate of oligarch Dmytro Firtash took over management at Inter TV. In response, three executives resigned. Vlad Lavrov, “EuroMaidan activists call for boycott of Inter TV channel,” Kyiv Post, Jan. 5, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/euromaidan-activists-call-for-boycott-of-inter-tv-channel-334683.html.
45.) Katya Gorchinskaya, “Lyovochkin resigns over draconian anti-democratic laws; others expected to quit soon,” Kyiv Post, Jan. 17, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/lyovochkin-resigns-over-draconian-anti-democratic-laws-others-expected-to-quit-soon-335152.html.
46.) “Revolution of Dignity,” ICTV, March 8, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, https://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/ictvs-documentary-revolution-of-dignity-now-has-english-language-subtitles-338913.html.
47.) Olena Goncharova, “A month later, EuroMaidan beat goes on,” Kyiv Post, Dec. 21, 2013, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/a-month-later-euromaidan-beat-goes-on-334112.html.
48.) Lynn Hunt, Politics, Culture, and Class in the French Revolution, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), p. 27.
49.) Hunt, Politics, Culture, and Class, p. 24.
50.) Timothy Snyder, “Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine,” NY Books, February 19, 2014, accessed March 11, 2014, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/mar/20/fascism-russia-and-ukraine/?insrc=rel.
51.) It is symbolic that it was a tradition at EuroMaidan since the movement began on 21 November 2013 to sing the Ukrainian national anthem almost every hour. Does this suggest that Ukraine’s independence is through Europe? Olena Goncharova, “A month later, EuroMaidan beat goes on,” Kyiv Post, Dec. 21, 2013, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/a-month-later-euromaidan-beat-goes-on-334112.html.
52.) An impressive burst of creativity took place online. Memes and photo-shopped pictures making fun of Ukrainian politicians and police officers were shared by everyone sympathetic to Maidan. Andrey Zelinsky, an art director from Kyiv, was the author of many of these memes. The first one he made depicted a shadowy Kyiv and two riot policemen beating a protester, reading “Welcome Ukraine.” Zelinskyi explained: “I drew that the day I woke up and realized that I live in a police state.” Daryna Shevchenko, “Smart and funny EuroMaidan posters,” Kyiv Post, Dec. 25, 2013, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/lifestyle/smart-and-funny-euromaidan-posters-334231.html.
53.) “Revolution of Dignity,” ICTV, March 8, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, https://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/ictvs-documentary-revolution-of-dignity-now-has-english-language-subtitles-338913.html.
54.) Arendt, On Revolution, p. xv.
55.) The laws introduced 10-year jail terms for blockading government buildings; hefty fines and prison terms for protesters who wear face masks and helmets; fines and prison terms for unauthorized installation of and provision of facilities or equipment for tents, stages or amplifiers in public places; and driving bans for people who form convoys of more than five cars. Also approved was legislation to easier strip members of parliament of immunity; the identification of members of non-government organizations funded by foreign governments or foundations as "foreign agents"; 2-year jail terms for defamation spread through social media; 1-year jail terms of corrective labour for slandering government officials; mandatory registration for internet-based media and prepaid mobile phone services purchasers. "Ukraine's parliament passes tough anti-protest laws,” Financial Times, January 16, 2014, accessed March 22, 2014, http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/e9367e64-7ebc-11e3-a2a7-00144feabdc0.html#axzz30JzfM3V4.
56.) The law caused the resignation of several top government staff members, including Serhiy Lyovochkin, President Yanukovych’s long-time chief of staff, Denys Ivanesko, head of public information, Darka Chepak, press secretary, and Andriy Yermolaev, a political advisor to the president. Katya Gorchinskaya, “Lyovochkin resigns over draconian anti-democratic laws; others expected to quit soon,” Kyiv Post, Jan. 17, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/lyovochkin-resigns-over-draconian-anti-democratic-laws-others-expected-to-quit-soon-335152.html.
57.) The Traditional chants of “Bandits, get out!” and “Glory to the Ukraine!” had become tiresome. “EuroMaidan ralles in Ukraine (Jan. 20 updates),” Kyiv Post, Jan. 21, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/euromaidan-ralles-in-ukraine-jan-20-updates-335302.html.
59.) “Kiev Burning,” Vice Media, February 20, 2014, accessed March 23, 2014, http://www.vice.com/vice-news/ukraine-burning.
60.) On 21 January Yuriy Verbytsky, a protester abducted the day before along with activist Ihor Lutsenko, was been found dead. At a press conference on 24 January, Lutsenko said: “I am not leaving until we win, no matter what happens.” Daryna Shevchenko, “Activist tortured by police in video returns to EuroMaidan, talks to journalists,” Kyiv Post, Jan. 24, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/man-tortured-by-police-in-video-returns-to-euromaidan-talks-to-journalists-335545.html.
In the eastern regions of Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhya, peaceful protesters were assaulted on 27 January by “titushki,” government hired thugs. Sergey Gorobets, who attended the protest, was perplexed: “I just don’t understand how hooligans can attack people and be under police protection while doing it. After that, how can a dialogue happen?” Olga Rudenko, “Police join forces with thugs to violently suppress protests in eastern Ukraine,” Kyiv Post, Jan. 27, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/police-joins-forces-with-thugs-to-violently-suppress-protests-in-eastern-ukraine-335688.html.
61.) Tiahnybok, leader of Svoboda Party, said: “This is the third round of negotiations, and we have felt a real change in mood….people are taking power into their hands.” Katya Gorchinskaya and Oksana Grytsenko, “Opposition rejects Yanukovych offer, but willing to talk more,” Kyiv Post, Jan. 26, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/yanukovych-offers-prime-ministers-job-to-yatseniuk-makes-other-concessions-335591.html.
62.) Yanukovych offered the Prime Minister position to Yatseniuk, who refused. “Yanukovych accepts Azarov's resignation; other disputes remain,” Kyiv Post, Jan. 28, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/azarov-resigns-as-parliament-session-gets-under-way-335719.html.
63.) President Yanukovych no longer felt the supporting shoulder of Russia. A number of Russian government-controlled TV channels portrayed Yanukovych as a weak leader, and suggested that federalization and even disintegration of Ukraine was inevitable. This scared Yanukovych and put him off the idea of further compromise. Katya Gorchinskaya, “Russia restarts trade sanctions against Ukraine,” Kyiv Post, Jan. 29, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/russia-restarts-trade-sanctions-against-ukraine-335835.html.
64.) The former president Leonid Kravchuk warned parliament that this law would only inflame tension further in Ukraine, which is “on the brink of civil war.” “Kiev Burning,” Vice Media, February 20, 2014, accessed March 23, 2014, http://www.vice.com/vice-news/ukraine-burning.
65.) “Yanukovych accepts Azarov's resignation; other disputes remain,” Kyiv Post, Jan. 28, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/azarov-resigns-as-parliament-session-gets-under-way-335719.html.
66.) Olga Rudenko and Solomiya Zinevych,” EuroMaidan increases security after bomb cripples two protesters,” Kyiv Post, Feb. 7, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/kyiv/euromaidan-increases-security-after-bomb-cripples-two-protesters-336490.html.
67.) The Security Service announced that law enforcement was on heightened alert because of threats of terrorism. Ibid.
68.) “Revolution of Dignity,” ICTV, March 8, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, https://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/ictvs-documentary-revolution-of-dignity-now-has-english-language-subtitles-338913.html.
 Danylyuk also said: “Our actions are not civil resistance to Ukrainian leadership only. We see [the current political crisis in Ukraine] as a Russian invasion and occupation of our country.” Olga Rudenko, “Police join forces with thugs to violently suppress protests in eastern Ukraine,” Kyiv Post, Jan. 27, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/police-joins-forces-with-thugs-to-violently-suppress-protests-in-eastern-ukraine-335688.html.
70.) “Everyone here has a strong sense of responsibility for Maidan’s future,” a leader of one self-defence unit said. Tetyana Chornovol, the journalist who was attacked on 25 December, said: “They thought it will end on 30 November, but it didn’t. They gave the order to shoot, torture and arrest, but it didn’t work again. They don’t understand that we are here until the end for our children, for our parents, and just because we are smart.” And Ihor Lutsenko, the activist who was kidnapped and tortured, said: “I understand that they understand nothing about us. They still think we are paid here or we at least get some material benefits. All their torture is without any result: Neither me nor Tetyana Chornovol nor Dmytro Bulatov have stopped. We just walk slower.” “EuroMaidan’s victims include five killed, many injured and missing,” Kyiv Post, Jan. 31, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/euromaidans-victims-include-five-killed-many-injured-and-missing-335932.html.
71.) “Revolution of Dignity,” ICTV, March 8, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, https://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/ictvs-documentary-revolution-of-dignity-now-has-english-language-subtitles-338913.html.
72.) Christopher J. Miller and Katya Gorchinskaya, “Guide To EuroMaidan,” Kyiv Post, Feb. 13, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/guide-to-euromaidan-336810.html.
73.) Kyiv Post Feb.9. Discontent with President Yanukovych spreads within ranks of Ukraine’s foreign ministry: 115 current and former employees expressed their support for the “peaceful anti-government demonstrations.” Christopher J. Miller, “Klitschko: Yanukovych should be held accountable,” Kyiv Post, Feb. 13, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/klitschko-yanukovych-should-be-held-accountable-336803.html.
74.) Katya Gorchinskaya, “Government threatens force after 6 p.m. on Feb. 18 after deadly clashes resume in Kyiv,” Kyiv Post, Feb. 18, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/kyiv/government-threatens-force-after-6-pm-on-feb-18-after-clashes-that-kill-four-persons-injur-more-than-100-people-337033.html
75.) “EuroMaidan rallies in Ukraine (Feb. 19 live updates),” Kyiv Post, Feb. 20, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/kyiv/euromaidan-rallies-in-ukraine-feb-19-live-updates-337098.html.
76.) Defections: Lt. Colonel Shuliak, commander of Ivano-Frankivsk police unit, said that he would not follow criminal orders. Ibid.
77.) Later that day the police attacked Maidan Nezalezhnosti again and after heavy fighting, the Trade Union’s building caught fire and burnt down. Protesters in two provinces of western Ukraine took over the police headquarters. Ibid.
78.) On 20 February Ukraina TV, owned by Akhmetov who is the richest oligarch in Ukraine and long-time ally of Yanukovych, begins to offer more objective coverage, which suggests that the oligarchs were no longer firmly behind President Yanukovych. The Party of Regions also started fragmenting: twelve members of parliament announced their support for the “Ukrainian people.” Christopher J. Miller, “Embattled Yanukovych, opposition sign deal to end political crisis,” Kyiv Post, Feb. 21, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/embattled-yanukovych-opposition-sign-deal-to-end-political-crisis-337307.html.
79.) “Protesters threaten violence if Yanukovych doesn't resign now,” Kyiv Post, Feb. 21, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/protesters-threaten-violence-if-yanukovych-doesnt-resign-now-337343.html.
80.) Hannah Arendt, On Violence (New York: Harvest Book, 1970), pp. 52-53.
81.) Ibid, p. 56.
82.) Ibid, p. 44.
83.) Alexis De Tocqueville, The Old Regime and the French Revolution, trans. Stuart Gilbert (Anchor Books, 1983).
84.) Arendt, On Violence, p. 68.
85.) Ibid, p. 79.
86.) The activist was Volodymyr Parasiuk and member of Pravy Sektor. “Protesters threaten violence if Yanukovych doesn't resign now,” Kyiv Post, Feb. 21, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/protesters-threaten-violence-if-yanukovych-doesnt-resign-now-337343.html.
87.) Thirteen of the dead were policemen. Jessica Elgot, “Ukraine’s 'Neo-Nazis' Pay Respects At Funeral Of Jewish Maidan Activist,” Huffington Post UK, March 3, 2014, accessed 26 April, 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/03/18/ukraines-neonazis-jewish_n_4986582.html.
88.) “Tymoshenko: ‘Heroes will never die’,” Feb. 22, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/tymoshenko-heroes-will-never-die-337390.html.
89.) Tymoshenko, Turchynov, and Yatseniuk are all members of the Batkivshchyna Party.
90.) “Ukraine as it happened: Yanukovych ousted, Tymoshenko freed,” EuroNews, February 22, 2014, accessed March 3, 2014, http://www.euronews.com/2014/02/22/live-updates-protesters-take-over-kyiv-parliament-releases-tymoschenko/.
91.) The onset of counter-revolutionary forces, notably actors calling for federalization of, and even separation from, Ukraine, will be discussed in the next section.
92.) “Tymoshenko: ‘Heroes will never die’,” Kyiv Post, Feb. 22, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/tymoshenko-heroes-will-never-die-337390.html.
93.) Arendt, On Revolution, p. 24.
94.) Ibid, p. xv.
95.) In the rhetoric of today, it has nearly become self-evident to speak of political freedom not as a political phenomenon, but on the contrary, as the more or less free range of non-political activities which a given body politic will permit and guarantee to those who constitute it. Ibid, pp. 19-20.
96.) Ibid, p. 34.
97.) Or when (if) institutions are created at all levels where Ukrainian citizens can meaningfully act in concert.
98.) Ibid, p. 134.
99.) Krejci p. 39. Krejci cites L.P. Edwards who says, “A revolution dies out in a curiously insignificant and inconsequential way.” Edwards sees the end of revolution in a “process of accommodation” culminating in “an arrangement…whereby the different factions in the revolutionary society have their reciprocal relations defined, and their spheres of action worked out…The man principles which the revolution has established cease to be matters of controversy.” Krejci, Great Revolutions Compared, p. 6.
100.) Conal Urquhart, “Ukraine MPs appoint interim president as Yanukovych allies dismissed – 23 February as it happened,” The Guardian, February 23, 2014, accessed April 2, 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/23/ukraine-crisis-yanukovych-tymoshenko-live-updates.
101.) Katya Gorchinskaya, “Deadlock in parliament as president plays for time,” Kyiv PostFeb. 4, 2014, accessed March 9, 2014, http://www.kyivpost.com/content/politics/deadlock-in-parliament-as-president-plays-for-time-336262.html.
102.) “Ukraine’s 2012 Language Law to Stay Until New Bill Ready – Turchynov,” RIA Novosti, March 3, 2014, accessed March 4, 2014, http://en.ria.ru/world/20140303/188063675/Ukraines-2012-Language-Law-to-Stay-Until-New-Bill-Ready--Turchynov.html.
103.) “Presence of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine shows weakness of Kiev govt,” Russia Today, April 9, 2014, accessed, April 12, 2014, http://rt.com/op-edge/foreign-mercenaries-in-ukraine-373/.
104.) Democratic Initiatives Foundation, April 8, 2014, accessed April 12, 2014, http://www.dif.org.ua/en/events/gvkrlgkaeths.htm.
Maria Popova, “What Doesn’t Kill Ukraine,” Foreign Policy, March 12, 2014, accessed March 13, 2014, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/03/12/
105.) Hunt, Politics, Culture, and Class, p. 28.
106.) Arendt, On Revolution, p. xix.