Wednesday, November 24, 2004

At 3 am, the city's so loud you'd think it's daytime. In our backyard, there's always someone peeing - boys, not girls, of course, for it's too cold for a girl to pee outdoors now: cold and snowing. Our backyard has always been an awful dump, mainly because we're located right across the street from the Bessarabka Market - but tonight, somehow, I'm not mad at those who use us as a toilet. Many are probably on the way to or from Maidan Nezalezhnosti, and since I support their cause, I shouldn't complain: I'm sitting in my cozy, warm room, and they're out there in the cold.

Today was a very eventful day. I've just read somewhere that Mikhail Gorbachev condemned the government's attitude and said that "the Wall has fallen the second time" - and although I think that it would've been more appropriate for him to say that the Wall's fallen the third time (after all, his Wall fell as well, in August 1991), it doesn't really matter all that much: it's nice that he compared us to Berlin in those crucial times.

I spent some time at the rally by Verkhovna Rada, ran into friends there, and we walked down to Maidan after the parliamentary meeting was over. It ended roughly around the time Yushchenko swore himself in - I guess it was more like swearing on the Bible to be loyal to the Ukrainian people than swearing himself in as president - he knows the laws after all. One thing I do not understand is why he had his left hand, not right, on the Bible (this, at least, is how we saw it on TV).

When we approached Maidan, it began to snow - and it is snowing still. Yushchenko and Tymoshenko spoke at the rally, and then the crowd moved to the presidential administration building. By that time, I was already drinking tea after tea after tea at one of the bars nearby, but when I saw the footage of the riot police in full gear facing the protesters, my heart sank. Every once in while a journalist barged in and announced that, according to some very well-informed sources, the riot police were beating everyone up over there, or that the armored personnel vehicles (is that what they're called?) are approaching the city center - well, that didn't help me or anyone else to relax.

Those were all rumors, thank God. Later this evening, reports came in that the riot police are acting friendly and tolerant, and that they've declared their support for Yushchenko, and that they aren't embarrassed to put on some orange stuff on themselves. I assume it happened thanks to Yulia Tymoshenko - thanks to her charisma.

Speaking of charismatic politicians, the president of the Republic of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, is one. He spoke wonderfully - and in Ukrainian!!! - about the situation in Ukraine, and everyone who was in the bar started applauding when the footage of him was shown on Channel 5. It's the first anniversary of the bloodless revolution in Georgia, by the way, and for the past three days, there were always several Georgian flags at Maidan, in the midst of yellow-and-blue and orange ones.

There was also a football (soccer) game tonight, Dynamo Kyiv playing against Rome's Roma. We won, 2:0! (It's breaking my heart to think about the poor Italians having to play in such heavy snow, in such cold, in a country so hyped up, and at the stadium full of extremely hyped up fans. But I don't mean to say I'm not happy we won - I am very happy.)

There's so much more - but it's past 3 am and I still have to start and finish writing something else. Thank you all so much for reading this and for your wonderful comments - I'm very moved and very inspired now. Best of luck to you all!

9 comments:

  1. Appreciate the updates. I was getting worried. It's like when I don't know where my kids are with you out there wondering around in the middle of a revolution.

    I hope you are telling everyone that the whole world is watching and hoping intently. It may not keep them warm in their tents, but it may give them hope. What is happening in the Ukraine overshadows everything. It's the top headline on every newspaper I read.

    The snow is a good omen.

    Here's what American PBS viewers saw earlier this evening on our News Hour with Jim Lehrer:

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/international/july-dec04/ukraine_11-23.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Veronica: Thanks a lot for the wonderful coverage! I'm here in México and know that a lot of people all over the world are attentive to what's going on in Ukraina. Many people are praying for your country and hoping that it won't go the sad way of Belarus, but I'm sure that your people won't let it happen. God bless you and all of your people, and keep up the great work you are doing. Hugs and kisses :) Miguel. ilnz@email.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Watching and praying for you in Memphis TN. Thanks for the great updates. Since Gorby made the reference, we hope your revolution is as peaceful as Berlin's was.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, thanks for keeping the rest of the world in the loop. Hope your election turns out better than ours did. :(
    Laurie in New York City

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for these updates.. What is happening over there is not getting covered at all in the press in the US. But that really doesn't matter, it just goes to show how outdated the press is. What you are doing is the wave of the future, what you've done is a valuable resource. Congratularions on having a chance at witnessing history first-hand, and thank you for letting us have access to what you see.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm following what's happening in Ukraine from Cincinnati, Ohio. Thanks for reporting. Your blog gives me a great feel for what is happening. I am excited and hopeful for Ukraine. Again, speciva balshoi!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dear Neeka,

    So happy to read your wonderful, first-person report from Ukraine! We liberals in Kansas are thrilled to see the spirit of democracy rise up; would that it did so here!

    God be with you, and know that Americans support you.

    Best, Chris Fox Wichita, KS

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm wishing you all the best of the best and following the story as well as I can here in the US. I was born in Donetsk and am appalled to see the mafiosos that now run my city being bussed to Kiev to support the corrupt politicians.

    -Alex

    ReplyDelete
  9. Calm sincere and articulate, the best voice to hear, from the heart. Inspiring because it's real. The world is watching, and listening, and reading.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete