A memorial to the dead I photographed in 2016.
Today is the fourth anniversary of the end of Ukraine’s Euromaidan revolution. On the 20th of February, 2014 pro-Russian snipers took to the streets and shot and killed as many civilians as they could manage.
Snipers in the same spot the memorials are now.
The revolution resulted in overthrowing the corrupt, dictatorial oligarch in charge of the country, but he fled to Russia and paved the way for Putin’s invasion shortly afterwards.
Today we walked up the street where so, so many Ukrainians were shot during the revolution. I cannot get a decent picture on my tablet, but here are some of the memorials with the famous shields the demonstrators used. Notice that one has door handles on it. The Kremlin propaganda claimed the Americans were arming the Ukrainians. With THAT?
Not much defence against snipers!
This is the spot in the middle of Kyiv where the Lenin statue was famously pulled down during Ukraine’s revolution. The base (that thing on the right) is all that is there now!
What I am sure most of you are unaware of is that the moment Ukraine named a Crimean Tatar singer as their Eurovision entry, Russia applied to have Ukraine banned from the song contest.
Ukraine didn’t even enter after Russia invaded, and that year, Russia nearly won. Ukrainians were being massacred, and Europeans were voting for the people responsible for it!
So this win is a Major, MAJOR win against Vladimir Putin’s propaganda campaign and ongoing invasion.
Also funny that if the runner-up had won, next year Eurovision would have been hosted in my hometown, Canberra! (Unless there’s some rule the competition cannot leave Europe.)
Why did anyone vote for Australia? We have no business being in the contest!
However, it makes me sick to my stomach that Russia came close to winning – for the second year in a row. People who voted for Russia: do you remember these words: Georgia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Moldova, Syria, gay rights, human rights? Obviously not.
This is the street that connects to Kyiv’s main square, where so so many people were shot by pro-Russian snipers during Ukraine’s revolution.
There are pictures and individual memorials to each of the many dozens of people who died.
Some were still just teenagers.
We flew into Ukraine’s capital city this morning and visited the main square for the first time since the revolution (the square where there were the burning tyres, and had the drums, and then all the demonstrators were being shot by the pro-Russian authorities).
We are now in a Crimean cafe on the square, one we have visitied plenty of times in the past. They are flying Ukrainian and Crimean flags together; the Crimean Tatars don’t want to be ruled by Russia!
Happy Ukrainian Independence Day! Hopefully this time next year Ukraine truly will be free. *