Atmosphere of an Empty Maidan
The atmosphere in Kiev is completely different to that in the east of the country. The people there are living in the belief that war is about to break out. Here, the atmosphere is as if it was already over. Kiev seems not to react at all to what is going on in the east. All efforts are being put into “returning to normal”. The wounded Maidan activists are trying to make the best of what local and foreign foundations are offering, returning to work or looking for new jobs. Those from the Crimea are wondering what to do next. Some want to go back, some others are extending their functioning on the Maidan which, to me, is completely unclear.
Maidan was supposed to be continued in order to realistically influence the new authorities, until the elections. The square in front of the Verkhovna Rada is empty though, just a few slogans remain beside bored ‘militsya’ men. I recall what pro-Ukrainian Maidan activists were saying in Donetsk – we went to Kiev when required and now we are alone with saboteurs, the Russian army along the border and armed separatists...
When we were observing the first “anti-terrorist action” in Kramatorsk, my colleague Serhij Lefter said, ”I hope all the time that I simply do not understand what the Ukrainian government are doing, that one day I will look at it from a distance and will be able to say: Aaaah, so that was Kiev’s plan!”. For now, Kiev does not seem to have a plan at all.