Came back home very soon - too slippery; the crowd's incredibly huge; no way to push through closer to the stage, not with my belly, anyway; and - the further you are, the less you can hear, because the sound system isn't as good as a year ago, when they were re-broadcasting it all throughout Khreshchatyk.
On the way to Maidan, I suddenly heard the crowd give out one very powerful cheer - from where I was, it sounded more like a gasp - and then I heard a female voice coming from Maidan, and though I couldn't make out a single word, I knew it was Tymoshenko. Later, I read that she had been carried to the stage, through the crowd, all the way from Instytutska.
Yushchenko showed up on time, at 8 p.m. sharp, and spoke for about an hour. I missed most of his speech. Closer to the end, he attempted to explain the situtation with the memorandum he had signed with Yanukovych: remember how you were taking food and clothes to the folks brought down here from Donbas last year, the poor souls who had nothing but vodka with them?.. remember how you were all chanting 'East and West together!' last year?.. - something along these lines...
According to some estimates, there were 100,000 people at Maidan tonight (Gazeta.ru), and according to others - 200,000 (NTV).
When I was near Besarabka, on the way back, there seemed to be a bit too many tipsy guys around - but right now, there seem to be none - not where we are, at least, on the Besarabka side of Khreshchatyk. That's good.
Vitaly Klichko was briefly on stage tonight - he's not too eloquent, so it's good that his speech was very short. He had a limp - post-surgery, I guess - and he seemed to be leaning on a walking stick. After Tymoshenko, he probably got the warmest welcome from the crowd. If it's true that he's planning to run for Kyiv's mayor, he probably does have a good chance of winning. I'd vote for him: with his achievements, he's totally worthy of every kind of respect, plus he must be rich enough to abstain from stealing and taking bribes, and he's seen the world, so he'd know the areas that need some fixing in Kyiv, and there are plenty of those right now.
There was also an Armenian guy congratulating the crowd tonight - speaker of the Armenian parliament, I guess, but I'll have to check that. His last name is Bagdasarian. That's interesting, because Robert Kocharian, the Armenian president, was among those who, along with Putin, congratulated Yanukovych on his victory last year, prematurely. So I wonder if the guy who made a very friendly and unexpected - if not too inspired (he read from a piece of paper) - speech at Maidan tonight was a dissident or something...
Update: A dear Armenian friend of mine has described Artur Bagdasarian this way: "He is a very bad career-maniac-never-a-reformist-not-even-remotely-a-patriot-snobbish-like-hell-without-any-depth type of guy... None of those bastards deserve any minute of your thinking about them and why they do something."
I'll try to post photos later tonight.