On February 21, an Agreement on the settlement of the crisis was signed between the Opposition leaders and Yanukovych, providing for early elections in December, 2014. On the same day, Hromadske TV reporter Olexandr Nazarov interviewed Maidan activists during the conflict. He asked them if they approve the part of an agreement between opposition negotiators and Yanukovych that would keep Yanukovych in office till December 2014. Their firm response: Yanukovych has to go now.
Man in red coat: We, the citizens of this country, who comprise a nation and this country’s true masters, are appalled by these so-called negotiations that these self-proclaimed protest leaders monopolized. This is abhorrent, that they see fit to agree to anything without our approval and make unacceptable deals behind our backs. This is unacceptable and unlawful – the deal they made does not reflect the position of the people.
Man in blue coat: The goals of the protest will be achieved when our (sarcastic) president is imprisoned for his crimes against the people.
Man in helmet and khakis chimes in: It would behoove the negotiators to achieve this goal as fast as possible, because our patience is running thin. Some people are already collecting resources to acquire weapons and ammunition. This is not a joke.
Orthodox Church cleric: We have to wait only a little longer for our Ukrainian victory. But we should not wait for elections in December, under any circumstances. If this happens, they (Yanukovych’s team) will simply have a lot of time to confuse matters, like they have always done, and deceive people. If we wait until December they will defeat us with lies. It will be our end. God forbid! The only way for Maidan – elections within 60 days from now.
Woman in orange west (collecting stones): Yanukovych has to go NOW. Even March would be too late.
(People passing stones along the lines).
Man in chemical defense glasses: Tell our high politicians (sarcastic) that there is nothing to discuss with felons. We demand that the leader of these felons – Yanukovych – resign now and be prosecuted by International Criminal Court in the Hague, along with Zakharchenko and Pshonka. After these goals are achieved, the people will have time to decide what’s next.
Man in gray coat (collects stones): As for me and my colleagues here, we are absolutely disappointed with this agreement about elections in December. It is almost a year until December, and elections should happen right now. To give Yanukovych and his cronies a whole year means giving them time to evade justice and to think up a scheme to launder the money, real estate, and resources they have stolen. I believe Maidan will not stand for this; the president must resign now.
(Women collecting pieces of wood and tree branches)
Woman in green coat: We think that this is a very long time – until December. The earlier he resigns the better.
Woman in white coat: How much longer do we have to tolerate this?
Woman in green coat: Of course, we hope that we will not need these barricades, that the pressure will ease and that everything will sort itself out.
Woman in white: Yes. It is not possible to wait anymore. It is incredible how long we already tolerated this shameful (sarcastic) president.
(A group of people)
Man in black coat: The elections must happen now. People stood here for so long in order for this to happen, and many died for this to take place. Because of these deaths we are not going to wait.
(a group of elderly people)
Man in brown coat: The elections must happen today. The main thing is that they managed to correct the Constitution.
Woman in red scarf: I understand it is difficult to move fast, but they should take into account what happened yesterday, when hundreds were murdered and injured.
(people washing floors)
Girl in patched sweater: I think Maidan’s victory will be possible only if the president is impeached immediately, or, if not, by holding immediate elections, in March or April at the latest. If elections are to take place in December then all we have done will have been in vain.
Man with a book: I do not want early elections in December. I want them in October. (solemnly)
Corr.: Why specifically in October?
Man: My birthday is in October and it would be my birthday present.
(A group of men in khakis and camouflage clothes)
Man 1: We want a complete renewal of the government. The current politicians must go and people’s candidates must take over the presidency, parliament, and courts.
Man 2: And we want it fast; people are not going to wait around on this one. We’ve reached the limit of our patience. How much longer will they make us wait? Enough.
On the evening of that day, an ordinary sotnyk of Maidan made it to the stage and delivered Maidan’s Ultimatum to Yanukovych.
We all know what happened later…
Translated by Anna Palagina, edited by Alan J. Beckett