The Maidan

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Revolution on Granite

“It was a strange situation to witness. There were 150 people on a hunger strike. Security and medical assistance were also there. The security was on the watch out for provocations”. Oksana Zabuzhko – Writer

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Revolution on Granite

“Demonstrations of hundreds of thousands people used to walk through the city with the slogans "Down with Masol, down with Kravchuk!", well, Kyiv residents were joining to this, and there was great enthusiasm indeed”. Maxim Striha – Scientist

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Orange revolution

“Revolution is impossible to plan, but you can create the tools for it. No one knows when it is going to explode. They, probably, knew that they will have to defend the election results. Maybe, they thought that Yanukovych would win, and that preparation was necessary. But it exploded on its own at that time..”. Oleh Bazar – Journalist

The Maidan

“We were standing on the barricades, keeping watch. I remember February 20th particularly well. It was pure madness. The guys with whom we were together were going through to Institutskaya Street, there were a lot of people killed”. Vladimir Derkach - Social Activist

Orange revolution

"...a session of the National Security and Defense Council where the agenda included the choice of whether to suppress the Maidan or to accept the conflict as part of a democratic process... I think that a sober position was adopted by the President because he was not led by anyone", - Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine

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Revolution on Granite (1990) // Orange Revolution (2004-2005) // Euromaidan Revolution (2013-2014)

The last three decades of the history of Ukraine has been marked by three waves of protests at Independence Square (Майдан Незалежності) in Kyiv whose scale and impact have attracted the attention of international public opinion. The Revolution on Granite in 1990 was the first of these protests, leading, for the first time in the history of the USSR, to a high-ranking official’s resignation under the pressure of public opinion, and prefiguring the revolutionary demonstratations of the following years. The revolutions of 2004/2005 and of 2013/2014 were exceptional in terms of their scale and impact on EU and American policies in the region. In particular, the events of 2013/2014, internationally known as ‘the Euromaidan’, met with wide European and international responses. ‘Maidans’ supporting the protests in Ukraine gathered in London, Vienna, Warsaw and New York. Moreover, the protests brought about a pro-‘Western’ change in Ukrainian politics. This allows us to perceive Ukrainian revolutions as milestones in the country’s road to integration with the ‘West’ in general, and the EU in particular.

To contextualize our research, we look at three dimensions: first we treat the Maidan protests as a part of Ukrainian political culture, second we apply the theoretical framework of contemporary studies of revolutions, asking whether the protests were ‘refolutions’ (the phrase coined by Timothy Garton Ash), or whether the changes introduced by them in fact only affected the governing circles. Finally, we compare the Ukrainian revolutions to the third and fourth wave of democratization, that is, to the fall of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, and to the ‘Colour’ revolutions in the post-Soviet space in the 2000s. Read more