Maidan’s last days
The last phase of so-called Maidan “cleansing” that is to say the removal of the last tents is just about to finish. After the riots on Thursday, the Maidan Council agreed with the city authorities that the Khreschatyk passage and two adjoining streets would be cleared. As agreed, as early as on Friday morning, Maidan activists started to remove the barricades. A large-scale clearing operation was planned for Saturday which was to include the help of Kiev residents.
Meanwhile, order-keeping services, militsiya men and “indignant residents” appeared there who – despite the arrangement with city authorities – started to dismantle the property owned by Maidan residents. At about 12:00, the first tents started to burn. A group of the same “indignant Kiev residents” gathered around immediately inciting the ones who were lighting fires (explaining to by-standers that "Maidan people themselves are doing that having had enough of what is going on"). The action was conducted very efficiently and was clearly very well planned.
At the places where fires burned, fire services and volunteers with fire-extinguishing equipment appeared at once. Once the fire was extinguished, order-keeping services set to work and over a dozen or so minutes everything remaining was taken to refuse trucks which were regularly taking debris away.
I spent the whole day observing the process and I am convinced that there were far fewer Kiev residents who spontaneously and whole-heartedly joined the cleaning process than the “organised” ones. In the afternoon, the first protesters started to turn up.
On Sunday, under pressure from the meeting’s participants, the order-keeping services withdrew and the stage was taken over. Several dozens of people are also defending the barricades on Institucka Street which