On November 23, Kyiv’s expat community marched with the flags of their nations to show their ongoing support for Ukraine and the Euromaidan Revolution and to honor the memory of Ukrainians starved to death in the Holodomor (photos by Chris Taylor and Andrey Basevich):
“One of the things we found most shocking 12 months ago was that Yanukovych had rejected the EU Association Agreement, implicitly signaling that Ukraine would be pursuing closer ties with Russia, on the weekend commemorative anniversary of the Stalin era Holodomor genocide. The timing was either a gross insult, or just grossly insensitive, or grossly ignorant,” noted one of the event’s organizers, Paul Niland. The march’s participants stopped by the Holodomor memorial to light candles in memoriam for Ukrainians that died in Holodomor, Stalin’s genocidal famine of 1932-1933.
Kyiv’s expat community had been organizing regular flag marches in support of Euromaidan from its very beginning, seven up to the date: on February 16, February 23, March 2, March 9, March 18; after the downing of MH17, the community organized an International Solidarity Flag March Against Terrorism on July 27. The march on November 23 is the seventh march of Kyiv’s international community (photos from the community Expats for Euromaidan).
Many expats living in Ukraine have been active spokespersons for Ukraine and Euromaidan from the beginning of the revolution. Anders Ostlund, a Swede living in Kyiv, has told he felt obliged by his personal principles to support the Euromaidan anti-government protests and defend the country against the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign. He rejects suggestions that foreigners should keep out of Ukrainian domestic politics. “If we do not engage in the society we live and work in, then we must also accept our share of responsibility for the situation we find ourselves in. That goes for expats and locals alike,” he said in an interview to Business Ukraine.