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The Problem of
Understanding of Maidans
as a Historical Process in Ukraine
in Context of Post-Communist
Systemic Transformations
in Eastern Europe
The International Conference "Revolutions, maidans and protests in contemporary
Ukraine. The current state of research and future directions“
20 June 2016 at the Natolin campus of the College of Europe in Warsaw
Revolution on GraniteRevolution on Granite
October 2-17, 1990October 2-17, 1990
158 people on hunger strike158 people on hunger strike
@inception@inception
@inception@inception
@inception@inception
@inception@inception
@maidan #1@maidan #1
Ukraine without KuchmaUkraine without Kuchma
December 15, 2000 - March 9, 2001December 15, 2000 - March 9, 2001
Biggest rally 10.000 peopleBiggest rally 10.000 people
Protest ended with clashes with the police.
Term Maidan used for the first time
@maidan #1@maidan #1
@maidan #1@maidan #1
@maidan #1@maidan #1
@basics@basics
Orange RevolutionOrange Revolution
November 22, 2004 – January 23, 2005November 22, 2004 – January 23, 2005
Biggest rally 1.000.000 peopleBiggest rally 1.000.000 people
Non violent peaceful protest
Term Maidan introduced to Ukrainian language
@maidan #2@maidan #2
Kyiv
@maidan #2@maidan #2
Kharkiv
@maidan #2@maidan #2
@maidan #2@maidan #2
No Political CorruptionNo Political Corruption
July 2006 – March 2007July 2006 – March 2007
Biggest rally 10.000 peopleBiggest rally 10.000 people
Longest lasting protest action. Had no special name.
@maidan #3@maidan #3
@maidan #3@maidan #3
@maidan #3@maidan #3
Tax MaidanTax Maidan
November 16 – December 3, 2010November 16 – December 3, 2010
Biggest rally 20.000 peopleBiggest rally 20.000 people
Maidan used for the first time in the protest name
@maidan #4@maidan #4
@maidan #4@maidan #4
@maidan #4@maidan #4
Language MaidanLanguage Maidan
July 3 – August 8, 2012July 3 – August 8, 2012
Biggest rally 10.000 peopleBiggest rally 10.000 people
@maidan #5@maidan #5
@maidan #5@maidan #5
@maidan #5@maidan #5
@maidan #5@maidan #5
EuroMaidanEuroMaidan
November 21, 2013 – February 22, 2014November 21, 2013 – February 22, 2014
Biggest rally 2.000.000 people (counted by BBC)Biggest rally 2.000.000 people (counted by BBC)
107 people killed by the police
@maidan #6@maidan #6
@maidan #6@maidan #6
@maidan #6@maidan #6
Kharkiv
@maidan #6@maidan #6
Human Rights Above All
@maidan #6@maidan #6
What triggers Maidans?What triggers Maidans?
ViolenceViolence
that is perceived as
excessive and non-
legitimate.
TV anchor of Russian Infowar
Ukrainian TV, 2000-2004
Russian TV, now
Russian message for Ukrainians
Ukrainian response
War of symbols, 2013
Vitaliy Ovcharenko © 2015
Ilia Repin © 1891
22.02.2014, Yanokovych fled, Kharkiv
Donbas – Russia or Not Russia?
Major ProblemsMajor Problems
•Memento effect, short memory
•People record emotions not factsPeople record emotions not facts
•History is written by the poor quality media,History is written by the poor quality media,
not participants or historiansnot participants or historians
•Russia still fabricates alternative historyRussia still fabricates alternative history
Nataliya ZubarNataliya Zubar
Maidan Monitoring Information Center, Chair
Kharkiv, Ukraine
Email: pani@maidan.org.ua
Phone: +38 068 550 6687
Twitter: @nataliezubar
@contact@contact

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Understanding of Maidans as a Historical Process in Ukraine

Editor's Notes

  1. Ukrainian Maidans are 25+ Years Old. Depending on starting point there were 6 or 7 Maidans.
  2. October 1990. Students set up a tent camp and occupied the Central Square of the capital city Kyiv with political demands, especially that the mandatory military service should be limited to the territory of Ukraine.
  3. The students reached most objectives, the demand about military service was the first satisfied.
  4. People started to name the Square “Maidan Nezalezhnosti” or Independence Square.
  5. This name of the central square became legit after Ukraine announced its independence in 1991. All Ukainian Maidans started there.
  6. Autumn 2000. Missing journalist Georgiy Gongadze was suspected of being assassinated by order of president Kuchma. The government denied his death and introduced media censorship.
  7. President Kuchma served full term. Beheaded Gongadze’s body and later his head were found and the trial is still continuing.
  8. The protests united opposition politicians and NGOs.
  9. December 15 2000. Kyiv. Journalist’s friends set up a tent camp and started an occupation strike.
  10. To break through the government’s information blockade, protest leaders decided to set up a website named Maidan. Site went live December 20 2000. Earliest snapshot in Internet Machine is dated February 21 2001.
  11. On the dawn of a cold November day, the tent camp was set up and an occupation strike started to protest the falsified results of President’s Election. The Orange Revolution introduced the protest meaning of “Maidan” word into Ukrainian language.
  12. Maidans lasted for weeks in Kyiv and many other cities of Ukraine
  13. including in Kharkiv - native city of presentation's author, second biggest city of Ukraine, the biggest in the east.
  14. The Orange Revolution combined efforts of political parties and activists groups. NGOs played a vital role in maintaining the infrastructure of protests and fundraising.
  15. After the Parliamentary Election Socialist Party left the democratic coalition, forming majority with the reactionary parties thus violating the promises to electors.
  16. Tent camp set up with major demand to the President to dismiss the Parliament and to announce new elections.
  17. After 9 months of protests, the President dismissed the Parliament.
  18. Government introduced draft of Tax Code, which could destroy small business in Ukraine.
  19. Tent camp was set up with demand to veto the Code.
  20. Protests lasted country wide until government complied with demands partially. The central slogan says "Revolution will be".
  21. Parliament passed the “Language Law” perceived as a threat to Ukrainian language.
  22. Citizens demanded to recall the law. Slogan says "No (Ukrainian) language - country is a prison"
  23. An occupation strike started in Kyiv and other towns of Ukraine. Photo from Kharkiv
  24. Protest was not successful. It was dismissed with brute police force.
  25. The Euromaidan or Revolution of Dignity started as protest against the attempt to cancel the process of integration of Ukraine into the European Union. The key of its success is the continuity of protest traditions and the lessons the Ukrainian civic society has learned from every previous success and failure and repression.
  26. Euromaidan was a real anti-imperialist revolution which confirmed the civilizational choice of Ukraine as European country.
  27. Euromaidan was joint action of civic society and politicians. However, this time civic society became the major driver forcing politicians to act, when they tried to avoid actions.
  28. Euromaidan protests were country wide
  29. "Human Rights Above All" became one of major slogans of the revolution.
  30. Author was an observer of Revolution on Granite and participant of all other Maidans.