I’m off to celebrate the first anniversary of the Ukrainian Revolution with my Russian husband but before I get on the way, here is how I know that this revolution is for real and that Ukrainians will prevail:
This is the Maidan in Kiev a couple of hours ago. This is how the main square looks after thousands and thousands of people stayed here for hours celebrating the anniversary of the revolution and honoring the memory of the fallen heroes.
Do you notice how clean it is? There is no garbage. None at all. If you are not from my part of the world, you don’t immediately know how significant this is. This is what the revolution has been about since the start: people getting together and taking charge of their own lives. The Maidan is so clean because Ukrainians have finally shed the colonialists’ contempt for this land and have turned to it with love.
Ukrainians are not waiting for a good tsar any longer. There are hundreds of stories that show the people of Ukraine taking matters into their own hands without waiting for anybody to tell them what to do. The greatest among their achievements is, of course, creating a functioning and shockingly successful army out of nothing, feeding, clothing and arming it, sending it into battle, tending to the wounded, burying the dead – and all this as an enormous country-wide volunteer effort. People come home from work or from school and head straight to the volunteer centers to make masking net for the front lines. Or they get together to build a house for the family of a fallen soldier. Or stuff boxes with medical supplies to send to the soldiers.
And somehow they are figuring out who to do it without any specific person being in charge or giving orders. For people who came out of the USSR, this is an enormous achievement.
This is how many people in Kiev came to the Maidan to honor the anniversary today: