After Yanukovych press conference there is a mixture of laughter and fear in Ukraine
The information war is an essential part of the events in Ukraine. When following the reports of the Russian mass media and comparing them to what I see with my own eyes, I see a distinct border of civilization. I am watching Yanukovych's press conference and listening to him talk about the agression shown by Ukrainian nationalists towards the Russian minority in the eastern regions and in the Crimea. According to the reports of the Russian media, someone had his head cut off and another person was burned alive. The same stories are passed by word of mouth by Russians in the Crimea. Some of them deliberately approach foreign journalists in the airport and tell similar stories using fluent English.
At the same time I am walking around the Maidan in Kiev, talking to people. I see these "agressors", weary of cold and rainy weather, sometimes dirty but nice and friendly. We change the flag fluttering above our tent for a new, clean one. I hear a conversation between two fighters of the self-defence unit dressed in camouflage, with blue-and-yellow ribbons pinned to the lapels of their uniforms: - Do you think Russians will invade? After a pause for thought, the second man answers: - If they don‘t, it's only down to outside help.
There’s a mixture of moods here. The Maidan's industry of humour is coming up with new memes which mock Yanukovych utterances. Yet nobody appears to be a bloodthirsty bandit with an inclination to cut off heads. They treat people with food, I swallow a sandwich on the run and go to the office. At this moment, TV channel 5 is broadcasting the declaration of Arseny Yatseniuk, the temporary Prime Minister: "We shall remain an entity.“