Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Climate change: The heat is on

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Frenchman kidnapped in Algeria: 'IS'-linked jihadists claim abduction of 55-year-old tourist

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The Sarkozy soap opera

Read more

DEBATE

What's the deal with Turkey? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

What's the deal with Turkey?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Cambodian garment workers demand minimum wage

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Air France pilots reject offer to stop controversial expansion

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France under threat

Read more

ENCORE!

Weekly Music Show: Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga's new album

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)