An Eyewitness Account of the Night of February 19th in the Battle For Maidan

2014/02/24 • Analysis & Opinion

By Serhiy Suprun

I want to tell you about the night of February 19th, and what happened during the operation of “clearing the Maidan” by the Berkut police.

It was the toughest night of them all. The famed self-defense “hundreds” (“sotni”) were nowhere near us and neither were the guardsmen from “Svoboda.” The men holding up the front line of defense were badly organized and severely exhausted, at this point having to use their heads to prop up their shields against the oncoming assault, because their arms had no strength left in them. The stage provided them some confort, because it was free of the MP’s usual cheap pathos-filled and self-serving slogans. There was no one left. Parubiy (leader of people’s self-defense) declared that he suffered a stroke and went home. Turchynov (MP) requested a stretcher, announcing that he was hit by a sniper’s bullet.

Berkut continued with their constant attacks. The perimeter was being held up by 300-400 people, while the rest were just compassionate spectators. As morning neared, there were less and less people around. Khreschatyk become empty, and those of us who remained were either rushing about or nearly crawling, trying to drag to the frontline anything that could burn. After 5AM the situation became desperate, as the frontline of defense was being pressed back. The barricades on Prorizna Str. and in the Pasazh were left unguarded, several times messengers would come to us with the alarming reports of advancing Berkut forces and “titushki” coming at us from the side of Besarabka square.

We were anxious. We were scared. Everyone suddenly realized that we have no chance of holding on to Khreschatyk. After 8AM people began scattering more actively, there was hardly anyone coming in. Suddently, along Khreschatyk, from the side of Besarabka, we saw a large group of men armed with shields and baseball bats advancing upon us. It was the end.

We began grabbing bricks and lighting Molotovs. The running group was getting closer and closer and, as their faces became clearer, our dread was quickly replaced by sudden understanding – they were OUR GUYS! The expressions on their faces could only belong to OUR GUYS!

Men aged forty-fifty years old ran up to us, quickly lined up in columns of fours, and our frontline defense fighters collapsed to their knees with a hard clanking of shields against the ground. What we heard next exploded our consciousness. “Brothers! We are so sorry that it took us so long to get to you.” Everyone wept. Everyone. They were the Lviv “hundred” (“Lvivska sotnia”).

As they all ran to take places at the frontline, a few remained to tell us the long story of HOW they managed to reach us. I will not write about it here, but it is a long tale of their courage and unwavering will. Glory to the Lvivska Sotnya! An hour later Ternopil happened…

Source: FB

Translated by Natalia Ioffe, edited by Jana Kualova

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  • chornajuravka

    Reblogged this on Voices of Ukraine.

  • Mike412

    The real heroes are those who run to the sounds of battle when others are running away: The American 101st Airborne who marched into Bastogne in WW II when other troops were retreating; the policemen and firemen who ran into the World Trade Center on 9-11 when others were fleeing; and now the heroes from Lviv who ran to the barricades when they were about to be overrun. Ukraine is free today because of Euromaidan and those like the heroes from Lviv who came to its aid in its darkest hour.

  • http://zenobiuszjuz.wordpress.com zenobiusz

    Reblogged this on Zenobiusz and commented:
    Mike412 na24 lutego 2014 na 23:54 powiedział:
    Prawdziwymi bohaterami są ci, którzy biegną do odgłosów bitwy, kiedy inni uciekają: Amerykańska 101st Airborne, którzy wkroczyli do Bastogne w II wojnie światowej, kiedy inni żołnierze cofali, policjanci i strażacy, którzy wbiegli na World Trade Center w dniach 9-11 gdy inni uciekali, a teraz bohaterowie ze Lwowa, który prowadził na barykady, gdy miały zostać przekroczone. Ukraina jest wolny dziś z powodu Euromaidan i tych, jak bohaterów z Lwowa, którzy przyszli do jego pomocy w jej najczarniejszej godzinie.

  • http://thefcstartmovie.com theFCStartMovie

    Great story of solidarity. Reblogged on thefcstartmovie.com

  • http://twitter.com/TeachESL TeachESL (@TeachESL)

    Wow…..got goose bumps! One day this should be made into a movie. Now I pray that the future of Ukraine will be one of democracy with laws implemented against attacking any specific groups – even Russian speakers. Some old people who have been used to speaking Russian all their lives even though they live in Ukraine should not be demonized. Show your humanity they way the visitors to Yanukovych’s residence did when they restrained themselves from destroying the place.

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  • http://serifbooks.wordpress.com serifbooks

    You couldn’t invent this stuff… it’s beyond belief. The world is watching, that’s all we can say – and hope some vaguely lefty politician calls Putin’s bluff.