Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Kerry heads to Paris for new round of Gaza peace talks

    Read more

  • ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Europe

Maidan square: Battleground turned shrine

© FRANCE 24

Video by Elena CASAS

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-27

As Ukraine reels from the loss of Crimea to Russia and looks ahead to elections on May 25, the protesters who brought about the country’s biggest upheaval in decades are determined to not let go of the square that hosted their revolution.

More than a month after Ukrainian protesters forced president Viktor Yanukovich from power, the Kiev square that came to embody their uprising – Maidan – remains in much the same conflict-weary state as it did during the revolution.

Dozens of people were killed in the protests and hundreds more were injured.

Those victims are far from forgotten on the square, where makeshift memorials, candles and masses of flowers litter the ground between barricades. Nearby, a chapel is being built from wood.

“The people who died here are heroes, not everyone is brave enough to take to the streets and defend the people,” one young woman told FRANCE 24.

Behind the barricades, volunteers continue to hand out soup to the needy – an initiative which allowed protesters to stay on the square for months on end during the uprising.

Today, the community spirit that helped to sustain that winter-long sit-in – which sometimes saw temperatures drop to as low as -20°C (-4°F) – is ever-present in the square.

“Maidan is like a little village in itself, with a special atmosphere... It’s like a second home to me,” Victoria Jigadlo, a soup kitchen volunteer, told FRANCE 24.

Some of the protesters want the tyre and brick barricades that straddle the square to remain as a permanent fixture, in the hope of deterring future violence.

“We live in peaceful times, this should never have happened,” one woman on the square told FRANCE 24. “We have to remember it; future generations have to remember it, so that it never happens again.”

But others consider the revolution far from over. Mykola Tovar, a member of one of the Maidan self-defence groups that fought off violent police raids on the camp, told FRANCE 24 that he doesn’t trust the new authorities, and is determined to continue protesting on the square.

“The people responsible for murders here have not been punished, and nothing has really changed,” he said.
 

Date created : 2014-03-27

  • DIPLOMACY

    Russia 'stands alone' on Crimea, Obama tells EU summit

    Read more

  • UKRAINE

    Video: ‘Putin partially improvising’ on Crimea, Brzezinski tells FRANCE 24

    Read more

  • UKRAINE

    Obama admits Russia unlikely to leave Crimea

    Read more

COMMENT(S)