Article by: Vitaly Portnikov
Years later Maidan will become a theme for literature and cinema, its aged participants will tell their grandchildren how right there, on the central square of Kyiv, they climbed the ‘Christmas tree’ to put up the portrait of Yulia Tymoshenko (she was a politician who was put in jail illegally), and there they lost their voice demanding the impeachment of Viktor Yanukovych (I don’t even remember who he was), and this is where they built the barricades…
Their grandchildren will look in surprise at the peaceful streets of Kyiv and they naturally won’t believe that their granddad or grandma had participated in the events that they hear about during history classes. But for those who were on Maidan, it will be extremely important to relive the events of the year gone by together with those who will inherit Ukraine from them – alive and happy.
In the life of every society, the life of every person, sooner or later, there comes a moment of truth. If the Ukrainians had simply ‘provoked’ the beating of the students on Maidan, everything would be different in their lives and the life of their country. Already, real dictatorship would rage here, the economy would be in ruins, and Yanukovych would cheerfully hasten to join the Customs Union. I may be contradicted, saying that Ukrainians are not living very rich lives now – and there had been a chance that Yanukovych would have been able to maintain the illusion of stability using Russian money until the nearest presidential elections. But the poverty of the free is different from the poverty of slaves, because a free person can make changes in their life and demand changes from the government.
It is quite possible that the next generation of Ukrainians could have started the struggle for Ukraine’s future – the very grandchildren of the Maidan participants, who will listen with great surprise to the unbelievable stories about the barricades. But I am proud that the generation of my own peers turned out to be on the height of the historic mission. That it was not afraid of Yanukovych, Berkut, bandits, the Russian army, Strelkov and even Putin himself, who had come to believe in his own omnipotence.
Journalists, if, of course, the tell and write the truth, work for such moments and days. Only then do they understand that they did not work in vain and that the values for the sake of which they elected their profession, start working in squares and become guides for the people and country.