Oksana Horbunova on Ukraine
For more than 90 days, Kiyvans and other activists from all over Ukraine stood on the Maidan, demonstrating for human rights and democracy.
We started our peaceful protests November 21, 2013 in Kyiv with a deep understanding of the difficulties and challenges we could expect along the way.
We didn’t have a special strategy. Everything was spontaneous. We came together in downtown Kyiv to say “No” to the dictator.
From that moment, the downtown of our capital (the MAIDAN) became the “Island of Freedom,” protected by men and women of different ages with different social and educational backgrounds.
We moved towards our victory, week after week, under the open sky, during the cold winter, step by step, for almost 90 days. Each of us played a role on the Maidan: constructing the barricades, delivering food or cooking, collecting warm clothes, medicine or firewood.
Many activists were detained by armed police or simply disappeared. We became one family; a family of our Maidan; a family of our freedom, standing one for all and all for one. We recognized each other on public transportation or simply in the streets by special yellow-blue ribbons.
Then they started to kill us. We knew the buildings where the snipers “worked.” Our telephone calls were recorded. They tried to paralyze all of our approaches. Later they tried to paralyze the whole city. They stopped the metro and started shooting.
More than 90 people were brutally killed. Three thousand disappeared without a trace. So many heros were injured!
We reached Victory… but the price is too high!
We got the hope to build a new country… but now we face an enemy from outside.
Yes, we need urgent help to stop this aggression. We continue our struggle.
With Hope and Love,
March 3, 2014`
Photo: Sharon Farmer