Triumphant Friday at Maidan
Translated version of my original article in Russian
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The Ukranian events are developing with a terrific speed. Just a couple of days ago people were talking about ending the Maidan events, but yesterday, the only subject everyone talked about was where did Yanukovych flee. The house of cards created by Yanokovych was destroyed yesterday right after the agreement with the opposition was signed. It no longer matters what the agreement between the opposition and the government was about - the agreement did not even last half a day. Maidan just went crazy, people, high on victory, only demand one thing now - they want the justice to be prevailed over Yanokovych and his people.
The whole downtown of Kiev, including the governmental district is under rebel control.
Today, I am going to tell how what happened on Maidan on Friday.
01. The morning started off quite calmly. There were rumors spread on Twitter that snipers killed several people on Institutskaya street, however, I have not yet been able to confirm this. People drank tea, made jokes and waited for what was going to happen next. As you already know, everyone was waiting for the Rada's meeting session, which was supposed to carry out a signed agreement on stoppage of the conflict.
02. Every defender on Maidan has bullet shells or pieces of exploded grenades in their pockets that they are proud to demonstrate to journalists. "Look, these are the Russian bullets!" - a man wearing a helmet says. "But how do you know that it is Russian?" - "Well, we just know, it's Russian, there is no other way!" - and everyone bursts out laughing.
03. The barricade on Institutkaya street is on fire. Things were quite tense since the early morning.
04. The defenders
05.I decided to take advantage of the calm morning and to take a walk to the President's Administration district
06. The governmental district is partially blocked from access. Chains of governmental cars are entering and leaving governmental buildings. I wonder if they are rescuing governmental documents?
07. No one is leaving the safety area of the barricades except for journalists. Everyone is afraid of getting shot by snipers - everyone still remembers what happened on Thursday. Journalists, however, are not afraid - they hope that snipers will not open fire against them.
08. These are the barricades abandoned by the police
09. Bankovaya street - this is where the President's administration is located. Events were really hot here in December.
10. Some of the hatches that have access to telecommunication wires are open - it is evident that someone tried to burn them down
11. The Bankovaya street is still blocked by Berkut. I was not allowed to come closer than what you can see. Few Berkut heads are currently deployed here.
12. They are standing on guard with fire arms
They are going to leave their positions really soon. The police will leave the city by the time the night comes.
13. In the meantime, the Maidan is mourning for those who died
14. On Thursday, 4 people died here
15. Priests are speaking from the stage of Maidan
16. Barricades are now being fortified with pavement bricks
18. Every day people work on Maidan as if it all was a huge barricade-producing factory. Everyone is busy here. The discipline is outstanding. It's like a huge anthill
21. The people who stand for Maidan
22. Fire arms are being delivered from all parts of the city
23. These are tires held to produce smoke screens in case of emergency
26. Everyone is waiting for the conclusion
28. That's what is going on Kiev streets:
29. And this:
30. And even this:
31. If you think that all the action is happening only in the downtown Kiev, you are wrong. Maidan has long occupied the whole city. This is one of the suburbs, Teremki district. Tires can bee seen along the roads. People are ready to block the entry to Kiev any moment
32. People burned down the police trucks
33. A destroyed post of the road police
34. The post was pillaged and burned down
35. Now there is a new post and a new power is ruling
36. The rebels stop and inspect all the trucks and buses that are passing by
37. Most of the men on duty are freshmen from universities. All universities are currently closed in the city.
38. All the transport is checked not to let any pro-governmental activists, police or military men to leave the city
39. The differential sign of the duty men is a bright green price tag
40. It's them at work
42. All the trucks are being inspected. Most drivers are being understanding in regards to the new rules. Some horn to express support, some go nuts and argue on why they have to let a masked student into their truck. Far not all drivers are happy.
43. The guards. The citizens created this post when their district got flooded with pro-governmental activists on February 18th. The government wanted to compromise Maidan. This is why the city got filled with chavs from suburbs who tried to sabotage and provoke other citizens, acting as if they were people from Maidan. The government thought that Kiev people will rage against Maidan, but the Kiev citizens were able to quickly recognize the fraud and stood to defend their districts.
44. A kitchen is open next to one of such posts. Here's the menu. The district citizens organized everything.
45. Everyone is ready to block the road any time
46. Some readers are not happy with me giving people of Maidan the name "rebels". Well, they gave this name to themselves
Tonight the events started to develop rather fast
Yanukovich signed an agreement with opposition leaders to settle the political situation in the country. According to the agreement, both sides agree on returning the Consitution of the year 2004, which limits the power of the president. The presidential elections are also scheduled for the late December of 2014. Right after this, 386 deputy officials voted for the Consitution of 2004 to be revived. Followed by this, Rada frees all Maidan participants from the criminal and administrative responsibility and abolishes the article of the criminal code, which sentenced Yulia Timoshenko to 7 years of prison. After this, the minister of Internal Affairs gets fired.
The police and Berkut are escaping Kiev. The minister of Internal Affairs is rumored to have escaped to Belarus. Maidan is still not happy. People want an immediate resignation of the president Yanukovich. In the evening, one of the Maidan defenders goes up on the stage and announced that if the President does not resign immediately, then the rebels will assault the Presdent's Administration at 10 am the next day.
These are the words that need to be heard on Maidan. Later, Yarosh (head of the right sector) will speak to the crowd; he is more restrained, though also speaks for the Yanukovich's resignation.
Here, some clarification is needed to my Russian readers on why people do not want to wait for presidential elections in December and follow the signed agreement. As the Ukraninan history tells, Yanukovich always breaks conditions of agreements. People are afraid that he just wants to win the time to fortify his power.
Maidan is not fond of the commonly accepted opposition leaders. Klitchko is blamed for negotiating with Yanukovich and shaking hands with him. It is clear that nobody controls the people of Maidan, and they are thirsty for revenge. In the meantime, people find out that Yanukovich has left Kiev and is on his way to Kharkiv. It is not clear whether he is intending to break Ukraine down or he just decided to run away from the country. Former brothers-in-arms are promoting a bill on the president’s impeachment. Medvedchuk's chalet in the countryside of Kiev is being burned down.
We have the news from all parts of the country how rebels are stopping and disarming police. Here is a photo of how one military men is being disarmed:
During the night, the participants of the "Maidan's self-defenders" took over the buildings of Verkhovna Rada and the President's Administration. The opposition now controls the whole governmental district. It has been announced that starting today, the rebels are taking over the defense of Kiev and they are going to control the order in the city.
The following days are going to be crutial to Ukraine. People don't even care about president's resignation anymore. The only question is whether Yanukovich can escape or not.