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Young woman from Kyiv hit by grenade explosion: “Not for one second did I feel any fear.”

Young woman from Kyiv hit by grenade explosion: “Not for one second did I feel any fear.”
Article by: Yuriy Lukanov
Translated by: Christine Chraibi
Edited by: A. N.

Ekaterina Bolshakova said on her Facebook page that yesterday, 18 February, she was injured by a grenade thrown by the police force special unit known as Berkut.

“I knew where I was going, and WHY I was going there, and what would happen there. In fact, last night in the studio in my thoughts I said goodbye to all and gained closure with all my misunderstandings and condemnations. The grenade hit me in the back when the retreat began. I was almost the last one to get out–I was helping a 75-year-old woman get away from Instytutska Street. I had a quality canvas backpack with all of the reinforcements and spacers on my back. The only things that remained from it were a shoulder strap and a burned bottom. If I had not been wearing it, it would have been me that burned instead.

“Then, supporting and protecting the old woman, who was much shorter than me, I was just standing at a wall, then under a tree on the sidewalk, and Berkut forces were running by, and…. how they were beating everyone they could get! Men, women, Red Cross members, journalists. Several times they raised their batons to our faces and shouted ‘I will kill you, bitch!’ and I was just quietly looking into their eyes, and strangely every time they lowered their batons… Then one of them with human eyes under the protection of his shield took us to a nearby alleyway.

“There were 30 people there already: about 13 women, 6 or 7 old men, a boy of 17, journalists and 4 middle-aged men. An old man was lying on the ground, and two Berkuts were beating him to death. Two other men were all covered with blood from the wounds on their heads. Women with wounds of varying severity–a Red Cross girl with heavily beaten leg (thigh), a Press girl with a broken head and a smashed knee, etc…. Well, and me, a ‘beauty,’ since I did not know yet what I looked like from behind.

“A few minutes later Berkut flew to continue their ‘hunt.’  We’ve got one fractured skull and three cerebral concussions. Without any exaggeration there were seas of blood. Plus foot injuries, broken fingers (from covering their heads for protection). Fortunately, the Red Cross girl managed to keep a suitcase with medication. We bandaged the bleeding people, made a couple of injections, and hid ourselves in a stairwell. We were 16 people in total.

“I was calling to my friends telling them where we were and what we needed, the Press guys were calling to their colleagues. The info spread into V Kontakte social network and the Red Cross people from Maidan came to take us. Sergey miraculously managed to get the ambulance directly to Shovkovychna street.

“All the people were saved. Sergey led the ambulance with the heavily injured people in through the yards to Maidan to the Trade Unions House, and then took me to my home. So, the most important impressions from today’s experience:  Scary–HOW they beat people. It’s one thing is to watch it on the news, and another thing when you see it in front of you.  And you see the eyes of those who beat.

“By the way, my Sasha personally drove to the hospital two Berkuts caught earlier this morning, and the third one was just released behind the barricade.  Nobody BEATS them!

And a beautiful part, my personal one. From the beginning till now–there is a complete equilibrium inside. Such a CONDITION. And I did not drop out for a moment. After the events of January 22, when I’ve got an emotional shock, and then when I doubted about the power of love, and in return for a moment I was given a possibility to feel what is the love of Christ, a lifetime passed for me. I died and I was born once again. In love. Today, looking at all this, I did not feel fear, aggression, hate, despair, or condemnation.

“These are the practical lessons.”


Edited by Natalie Domchenko&Robin Rohrback

Translated by: Christine Chraibi
Edited by: A. N.
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