Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I'm too exhausted to write now. Not because I was doing anything special or patriotic or revolutionary tonight - but just because I'm tired of not knowing or fearing the worst.

The rally at Maidan Nezalezhnosti was amazing - I've never seen so many people there, and I doubt anyone has. I'm also amazed and proud of how peaceful everyone was - peaceful and happy, yet very determined. There are over a hundred tents now near Maidan - and I really hope they're not gonna freeze this night. Tomorrow, there's gonna be a parliamentary session and everyone's waiting for it. Less than half an hor ago, at around 2 am, there was some commotion over there, mostly honking (I could hear from the balcony, since I live nearby), and now every once in a while I hear shouting, Yushchenko! Yushchenko! - but I can't make myself go outside again. There were rumors that the police are preparing to attack the tents around 3 am - but if that happened, the sound would be very different. The honking is normal - they do honk in solidarity as they turn from Khreshchatyk up Bohdana Khmelnytskogo St., passing the makeshift blockpost.

At some point, I walked up from Maidan to the Kuchma Administration building tonight. It's located within a five-minute walk from Maidan, and yet, it feels like a different world there. Quiet - as if the neighborhood is soundproof. You wouldn't guess anything's going on at Maidan if you're based there, not even when something of this scale is taking place - a few hundred thousand people rallying, in addition to a concert...

So I decided to take a picture of the administration building - it's fenced off (always, not just now), and there was some guy standing next to the entrance, and when I pointed the camera toward him, he ordered - yes, ordered - me not to photograph there. I got a blurry picture, regardless - but that's not the point. The point is, who the fuck is he to tell me, in Russian, what to do. I'm wearing some orange, of course, so there was some logic to his behavior, considering who he's with, but still...

Very close to the administration, there were two buses with commando-looking men in them, all dressed the same, in dark-blue jackets, brand new, with neat black collars made of artificial black fur, and in black military boots. They looked quite menacing, even though they didn't say a word to me, as I passed by, on my own and wearing orange. Those guys definitely represented some kind of special forces, but they didn't carry any distinguishing marks on their clothes, nor did they have any weapons visible. They just looked weirdly out of place so close to where hundreds of thousands peaceful people were demanding a fair election and listening to cool music. They weren't some thugs brought here to riot, they were probably there to guard Kuchma from the crowd, in case something went wrong - but the look of them was still disconcerting. And that guy's obnoxious order not to take pictures just reinforced this feeling.

I'll write more tommorow. Really. If something extraordinary happens at Maidan, I'll hear it - it'll wake me up. For now, it's a lot of young people freezing in the tents, and a bunch of them walking around, yelling Yushchenko! Yushchenko! - and I'm going to take a nap. Somehow I feel that I'm more positive during the day, and when it gets dark, I feel somewhat uneasy about everything.

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