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.
Another year of Russian aggression, and another year our Christmas cards to relatives cannot reach the warzone where Russia is still invading Ukraine (not that it makes the news anymore!).
I can’t even begin to explain how angry I am with everyone declaring 2016 the “Worst Year Ever” just because of Brexit and Trump. There’re TWO MILLION Ukrainian refugees (while countries like Germany – European countries – take in so many Middle Eastern refugees, they will not help Ukrainians).
Several of my Ukrainian family members have died since Putin invaded, but nobody could care less about Russian aggression until it was Britain and America who suffered.
Personally, I think of 2016 as the year of selfishness. It’s only the “Worst” year if you usually just watch reality TV.
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!
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.
A display of some of the Ukrainian soldiers killed in the Russian invasion. It is in front of St Michael’s in Kyiv. It is out of date, and newer victims have been added in temporary memorials as the war continues.
In one month alone, 684 Ukrainian soldiers were killed, and that doesn’t include all the civilian deaths.
And yet in the coming days, the world will get worked up about the Russian entry in Eurovision, vote for them, and not care about human lives, or rights.