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“The winter that changed us.” Remembering why Ukraine is having early parliamentary elections

“The winter that changed us.” Remembering why Ukraine is having early parliamentary elections

Early Parliamentary elections in Ukraine are just around the corner, on October 26. President Petro Poroshenko had announced the dissolution of Parliament and early elections on August 26, noting that 80% of Ukrainian citizens were in support of them. “After all, this was one of the main demands of the Revolution of Dignity. A powerful social demand to reset power is more than evident. Elections are the best way to accomplish lustration. And the cleaning should start from the highest legislative organ.” Parliamentary elections of October 26 will indeed be a key event in Ukraine, a new chance for effective reforms and national unity under external pressure.

Almost 11 months have passed since the start of Euromaidan. “The winter that changed us,” a film project of Babylon’13 and 1+1 production, helps recalling the events that marked the start of Ukraine’s thorny road to freedom. Euromaidan Press has subtitled five of the videos in the series.

1. Heaven’s Hundred

“Heaven’s Hundred” is the first film from the series of documentaries “The winter that changed us.” The total number of people that are part of the Heaven’s Hundred is still unknown, as it is not only  those who were killed in the center of Kyiv in late February. Many people are missing or have been murdered in different parts of Ukraine since the start of Euromaidan. But the term “Heaven’s Hundred” appeared just after the worst fighting on Independence Square. “Hundred” is the English translation of “Sotnia,” an old Kozak word determining a military division that roughly numbered a hundred. The Euromaidan Movement was organized into many Sotnias: first of all, the Self-Defense Sotnias, but also an Art Sotnia, a Clean Sotnia, a Women’s Sotnia etc. The Heaven’s Hundred, or Heaven’s Sotnia, is made up of all those people that died for freedom during Euromaidan. The film shows how it happened that in just three days nearly 100 people were killed in downtown Kyiv . Available with English, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish subtitles available from the Options menu.

2. The First Death

The second film from the series of documentaries “Winter that changed us.” This is the story of those who died for freedom and for their own state. This time the story focuses on Serhiy Nihoyan, the Armenian who was killed in the center of the Ukraine’s capital in late January.

3. Hrushevskyi Cocktails

The third film of the series “The winter that changed us” is called “Hrushevskyi Cocktails.” The name comes as a variation of Molotov Cocktails. They were the protesters’ most potent weapons against armed Berkut forces on Hrushevskyi street in Kyiv.  After students were beaten at the very start of Euromaidan and many thousands came out to their defense in Kyiv, few could imagine that the government would resort to violence again. However, the government ignoring hundreds of thousands of protesters on the streets and suppressing them with direct and indirect methods led to the appearance of Molotov cocktails in Kyiv’s capital. According to rumors, the first who threw a Molotov cocktail was an artist-architect, giving evidence that the Revolution of dignity was a cultural revolution also.

4. Mezhyhirya

While working on the film about the residence of Viktor Yanukovych, the film’s director Yuliya Shashkov repeatedly visited Mezhyhirya. The authors of the film draw parallels between life in luxurious Mezhyhirya and simple  Yenakiyevo, where the house of Yanukovych’s father stands in ruins,

5. Self-Defence

The directors of “Self Defence,” the fifth film of “The winter that changed us all,” shows the ability of people to self-organize in the most difficult times. The way that a chaotic groups of people on Mykhailivska ploshcha were able to transform into groups that performed the role of the police is something that surprised and impressed many visitors of Maidan.

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