My short bio: I'm a ukrainian who lives in Kyiv. For the last 2 months I've been protesting against ukrainian government at the main square of Ukraine, where thousands (few times reached million) people have gathered to protest against horrible desicions of our government and president, their violence against peaceful citizens and cease of democracy. Since the violent riot began, I stand there too. I'm not one of the guys who throws molotovs at the police, but I do support them by standing there in order not to let police to attack.

My Proof:

Comments: 3194 • Responses: 24  • Date: 

Cerveza871396 karma

Another redditor has pointed out a lot of white supremacist action including flags and are perhaps trying to hijack the protests. How acurate is this? Are you aware of these people around you?

ukraine_riot2111 karma

Yes, the goverment has been trying to make the protest look bad in many ways all the time. It is proven that they hired lots of people in eastern Ukraine, transported them here, gave them cash and weed and let them out into the city to crash cars and start fights. I haven't seen any white supermacy action, and if there were many such people among protestors, I would know. I'm sure white supermacy symbols is another trick to compromise the protest.

NyQuil_as_condiment123 karma - I'm sorry but could you directly address these? I'm guessing it's what Cerveza87 is referring to, at least in part. I mean, is that not white power symbols on some of the rioters? Are the other rioters doing anything to stop racist protesters? I'm not a photoshop wizard, but if that is not real, it's very top notch work just for these pictures.

Helios_m154 karma

Tyahnybok has roughly 3-4% of support according to polls, the smallest number among the three main opposition leaders. Obviously, more radical voices are sometimes the loudest. But they are by no means in majority or control of the protests here.

ukraine_riot241 karma

Couldn't agree more. I can only add that a fist with three fingers up symbolizes ukrainian national symbol, the trident. There's no racist protesters, they're fighting the police of same race! Moreover, Tyahnybok himself was against violence from the beginning and in the morning of the day when the fights started, he said that we should negotiate with the government. This pissed off people, they just couldn't stand and wait anymore.

InfiniteYeast106 karma

I haven't seen any white supermacy action

The red/black or yellow/blue flag "hand symbol" flags of Svoboda, the national socialists, are present in almost every single image from the protests. I don't feel convinced that you haven't noticed that.

See also this comment:

ukraine_riot277 karma

The red/black flag is the flag of Ukrainian Insurgent Army that fought against Nazi Germany and Soviet Union in WWII. The yellow/blue flags of Svoboda don't mean supermacy action, it's a political party.

klous994 karma

Propoganda plain and simple. You refuse to believe the possibility of fascist elements amung the protestors because it's inconvenient. The government's corrupt attempt at hiring faux protestors is verified, but pointing to that doesn't dismiss the original accusation.

ukraine_riot3 karma

I am far from fasicm as well as everybody I know, including people in the attack group. I think the situation itself attracts this kind of people because they just want to play war. But this is a tiny fraction of the protesters, who get too much attention.

ohgodimsodumb885 karma

why burn all the tires?

ukraine_riot1808 karma

The wind is helping the protesters, the police can't see almost anything behind the smoke. They started using firearms and killed two protestors, all this smoke keeps them blind.

Lj27207 karma

But...wouldn't that affect the protestors vision too?

cordon_negro1275 karma

The protestors don't have guns to aim, so not really.

ukraine_riot908 karma


JXC0917248 karma

Doubt it. Judging by the streams, it seems their main weapon is molotov cocktails. Don't really have to aim them. Now that I think about it, that must be horrifying for the police. Random fireballs falling out of the smokey sky.

ukraine_riot460 karma

The police is well-armored. They get on fire, fall and roll, but that's it. Meanwhile, their sniper shoots protesters from the building beside. Few times with real bullets (killed at least two), but moslty rubber.

Edit: This is same riot police that beat peacefully protesting civilians (including women and press) violently

otis91770 karma

Hello from Slovakia.

First of all - stay strong, take care and may you all reach your goals as soon as possible with as little casualties as possible.

Question: Given the Ukraine's demography - do you think there's a chance that the country might split in two, with one half pro-EU and the other pro-Russia?

ukraine_riot809 karma

I don't think there is a chance Ukraine will split in two because there's no distinct border between the parts. Both new contries would fight for Kyiv and some other cities and nobody wants a civil war, we just want the goverment and the president to step down.

karmanaut678 karma

Sorry, but that video isn't really proof. Anyone could find that and link to it.

Could you please provide something to show that you were there?

ukraine_riot1098 karma

I can't show myself on the video, it can be used against me if I get caught. There are people in jail now for just being near the events.

ichegoya477 karma

Do you think you guys can change the course of the country there? I understand Russia is trying to keep all the former Soviet Union satellite countries under control, and that is the root cause of the rioting - is that accurate?

ukraine_riot930 karma

Youre absolutely right about Russia. Noone here doubts that they are deeply involved in this. After the president rejected the course of Ukraine to EU, he took a huge loan ($15 billion) from Russia, which basically clarifies that we're now dependent on them, because Ukraine is hugely in dept and won't be able to pay back. We've been protesting peacefully for over two month, but got nothing except few attacks from the riot police, many of protestors were sent to jail. At first government officially ignored the protest, but then they passed few laws that made the protest itself illegal. So people started attacking the riot police. We don't believe it will make the president or the government resign, but we simply cannot stand and watch anymore. We do believe we can change the course of the country, we tried to change it peacefully, but it didn't work.

lhk91404 karma

Do you know anyone who is part of the police in Kiev? And if so, have they spoken about the events from their perspective?

ukraine_riot648 karma

I have spoken with one officer of Berkut when things still were peaceful. It seems they are brainwashed, they think that every protestor is an extremist that wants anarchy and sleeps with a portrait of Bandera under the pillow. They were misinformed that people hide weapon on the Maydan Nezalezhnosti, where the protest takes place.

Bullvarine375 karma

У меня есть несколько вопросов к вам:

1) Вы ознакомились с документом о интеграции Украины и ЕС? Что вы о нём думаете? Будьте конкретным с вашим ответом.

2) Почему вы протестуете? Какая есть на это причина?

3) Вы за интеграцию с ЕС или против? Объясните почему.

4) Почему вы думаете что некоторые люди поддерживают и хотят интеграцию, а некоторые не хотят?

1) Have you read the document on the integration of Ukraine and the EU? What do you think? Be specific with your answer.

2) Why are you protesting? What is the reason?

3) Do you want integration with EU or not? Explain why.

4) Why do you think some people support and want integration, but some people are against it?

ukraine_riot590 karma

  1. No, I have not read the document. However I know that signing it is the crutial step for Ukraine to become a member of EU. Signing the document would actually harm me personally by raising my taxes hugely. However being able to travel abroad freely, study at better universities and have a better life expectency pretty much covers it.
  2. I protest mostly because on the night of 30 Nov 2013, riot police violently beat harmless protesters It is obvious that the police's order was not to disperse the protest, but to beat the hell out of people.
  3. See 1
  4. That's not really a question, but a statement. I don't agree with it. The protest is not about integration to EU anymore, The protests are against dictatorship and cease of democracy, against beating harmless people, kidnapping peaceful protesters by police and murdering them in the woods.

oldnpervy357 karma


ukraine_riot183 karma

This all is true, seems like the western media is accurate. The protesters are pro-EU, government is pro-Russia. But this has gone far beyond that. The protesters are being kidnapped, tortured, found dead in the woods.

For example, two innocent people who happened to be in the nearby building when the protest started, were captured by berkut (state police), stripped naked, mocked, drenched with water (in temperature below freezing) and let go to protestors as a warning. Not to mention 5 killed people.

laddism237 karma

What chance do you think the army will become involved?

ukraine_riot444 karma

I don't think the army will be involved, riot police and internal forces can win the fight if they use more machinery and guns. Right now the police is just not letting people to get to the government.

Nathan_Flomm189 karma

Do you think Ukraine will devolve into a "civil war" over this, or will the government back down?

ukraine_riot273 karma

I don't think the government will back down, they've already sold the country to Russia for that loan of $15 billion. To be clear, the police, berkut, and some army could disperse the protest if they wanted to, but they would have to use more weapon and more machinery. This would probably lead to a civil war. Of course even the president doesn't want that, so they will try to make it a long-term negotiating process without stepping down. There's really nothing people can do. When we tried peaceful methods, they ignored millions of people standing in temperature below freezing and then made new laws that declared us criminals. Then we tried violent methods, because we're criminals now anyways, but we're not strong enough.

blahblahblahblahx2157 karma

What's the morale of the people like?

ukraine_riot401 karma

The atmosphere on Hrushevskogo street, where the riot takes place (this is literally one block away from Maydan Nezalezhnosti, where the majority of protesters are) is probably close to war. Everybody wears something to filter the air they inhale, otherwise you would bend and cough most of the time because of police's gas (recently they stopped using it because of the wind). Same applies for eyes. Most of the people wear motorcycle or other kinds of helmets and some home-made armor. Police also uses rubber bullets and noise-light grenades all the time. The protestors use molotovs and fireworks and throw rocks.

People are cheering when protesters attack and support them by using trash cans as drums to make noise and frighten the police. The mood is very tense, any second the police can go forward and try to occupy the street. Everybody knows that police is allowed to use firearms, but they still stand there and risk their lives for better future. The attacking protesters would sacrifice their life for freedom of Ukraine. Everyone feels that we will not give up democracy without a fight. The morale of the rioters is high because they know they are fighting for good.

buschwacker271 karma

Until /u/ukraine_riot can respond I'll throw in my own knowledge. I was lucky enough to be in Kyiv for two and a half weeks from mid December-early January, time that I spent ferrying medical supplies to the central clinic that has been established on the Maidan. This means I missed the recent violence, but I have intimate knowledge of the Maidan demonstrations.

The mood on the Maidan is simultaneously joyous, because those demonstrating there feel that they are finally able change the corrupt status quo of their country, and tense because they know that the regime will only react with force to the Euromaidan. People are also tired because it takes a serious mental toll to demonstrate for so long when the stakes are so high; it is understood that if the demonstrations fail, the government will be out to "teach them a lesson" which means beatings, disappearances, or at least harassment. The overriding mood, however, is raw determination. I was told by a middle-aged man from Zhytomyr (many of those on the Maidan are middle-aged or older; they say that they hold the fort day to day so the youngsters with families and jobs can come out after work) that he is in it for the duration, but to please make the duration short because the situation is so difficult for so many.

The young men I saw were angry, and for excellent reason in my opinion. The explosion of violence against the police I think has come from a seething rage that has been building in the face of the government's cowardice in dealing with the protest movement. Journalists, female and male, have been ambushed by unnamed persons while alone, beaten, and left in ditches. Recently, activists with the "Automaidan," who use their personal vehicles to rapidly respond to calls for help, have suffered a crackdown where thirty or more have disappeared. The body of a journalist has been found in a field outside Kyiv, beaten to death. All institutions are in the pocket of the Yanukovych government, so the police are no help.

How would you feel if your government was so grossly abusive against anyone who called it on its abuses? These young men are angry as hell. I'm angry as hell and I'm not even Ukrainian. I would venture to guess that's the mood right now at Hrushevskogo street, where the riots are taking place. On the Maidan, I'm sure the sense of raw determination to stay the course is as strong as ever. I hope this provides some insight into your question and I look forward to hearing from /u/ukraine_riot, who I wish all the best in his struggle for decency and a democratic government.

Edit: I'd like to use the gilding of this comment to direct people to sources of information about Ukraine that I rely on to stay abreast of the situation:

Euromaidan PR on Facebook

Euromaidan Journalist Collective on Facebook

Babylon '13, a YouTube channel that creates artistic films which I believe capture the feeling of being there rather than transmit information.

ЄвроМайдан – EuroMaydan, the original Facebook group of the protest movement (Ukrainian language, occasionally posts in English)

ukraine_riot129 karma

This is very true, the people are very angry and will not back down. Since the riot has started on Hrushevskogo street the mood has changed - there is no longer dancing or joyful singing on the stage of Maydan Nezalezhnosti, the barricades have been made stronger and much higher to protect Maydan in case of emergency, many people are armed with bats and wear home-made armor. Men try to convince women to go home, but the bravest ones are still there.

Tronvillain131 karma

What's the perception of Vitali Klitschko among protesters?

Alikont81 karma

Opposition leaders are criticized by protesters for lack of actions and weakness. Also they can't give one single leader to work.

For me Klitschko is the most smart and suitable person for leadership now, among 3 current leaders.

Tyagnybok is too radical, Yatsenyk gone crazy.

ukraine_riot127 karma

Klitschko is the most popular one, but all three of them are not popular at all now, because they haven't accomplished much in two month.

People troll him for being too mild and not becoming the leader of the riot.

LyingPervert65 karma

Could you please ELI5 what is going on?

The_Christ_Puncher24 karma

How can foreigners living overseas support your cause?

yet-another-user37 karma

  • Donate money
  • Come here and protest or fight on our side. Seriously, there are lots of people that do so, and we are very thankful for that. Unfortunately, two foreigners were shot on Hrushevskyy street (one Armenian (Serhiy Nihoyan) and one Belarus (Mikhail Zhyznevskyy)).
  • Raise awareness
  • Demand your government to introduce sanctions against Yanukovych, Zakharchenko and other "interesting" people (pretty much everyone in our government and police) or help Ukraine in any other way.

ukraine_riot20 karma

I strongly agree with this, every point. Share the news, gather protests, influence your governent to introfuce sanctions is a great way to make a real impact on the situation.

Coming here or donating helps us a lot.