Barricade: The Euromaidan Revolt by Donald Weber and Arthur Bondar

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Donald Weber & Arthur Bondar

The euromaidan revolt

Barricade

G R ey M At t eR S 6


Lucia Ganieva

ЕРМИТАЖНИКИ

Ermitazhniki


Barricade The Euromaidan revolt

Donald Weber & Arthur Bondar


Returning to my ancestral homeland in the fading days of the Orange Revolution, I saw that everything I knew about Ukraine was wrongheaded and patently indifferent to the miasma of counter-realities that ghosted its political realms. The vacant hand-painted tents and factional banners with their slogans and invincible-sounding acronyms stretched across Kyiv’s cobbled main streets, and swept the eye over massive outdoor concrete staircases to the horizon: a tumultuous stage-set filled with shaky props where the hero had yet to arrive and slap his horse into action. “There are hundred political parties here. But we are best! Number one!” An excitable young man with a bullet-shaved head assured me. He looked askance when I queried him for comparison’s sake about the program of a rival group across the road. He went

Pursued by the Thing By Larry Frolick

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into his party’s tent, fiddled with some papers, and stayed there. The short interview with the nosy foreigner was over. A curious dissonance remained behind as the crowds reluctantly began packing up, an aesthetic breach between the hot orange banners of the fresh movement and the cheerful yellow of the still relatively new Ukrainian national flag. It was as if the patriots of the American Revolution had suddenly decided to adopt a flagrantly purple silk for their rallying standard over the nascent blue of Old Betsy. Didn’t such artfulness throw off the key messaging of the vast job at hand? The Orange Revolutionaries had interposed a picturesque novelty between preexisting social fact and the stringent demands of fully realized revolution. Did its shortcomings set the stage for the intensified Maidan Revolution? Revolution means overturning the existing order; revolt stops short.

Revolt is in love with its own potential, which is why it is so attractive to artists, for whom something out of nothing drips sweet grace itself. I had returned to Ukraine to explore a counter-epic to the disaffections of the unresolved urban crisis, the primitive culture of the Carpathian Mountains, the nation’s pine and beech heartland. The brooding black hills constitute the nation’s repository of folk wisdom dating to the Neolithic. I arrived in the provincial capital of Chernivtsi on a Saturday morning. It was August 18, Spaz, Savior’s Day, a holiday that predated Christianity, dedicated to the blessing of the first apples. A thousand celebrants converged on the Cathedral of the Holy Ghost by a gated green park with a wooden water well. Despite

Silence. The crowd at the spring stood unmoving, frozen to the background as in a two-dimensional Byzantine fresco, faces held stiff for inspection – God’s or society’s, one could not say. Delimitated, they melted into the facade of the mid-day sun while the laughing boy scampered through the cathedral doors like he owned the place. I followed him into the dark perfumed interior. A mass of people milled inside, lost in the fragrant confusion, keening, wandering about, crossing themselves, kneeling on the stone floor before dim alcoves, intent on reaching the solace of heaven from every corner. A rail-thin man in baggy clothes performed a complicated genuflection; a priest in a black cassock and smoldering eyes took a rambling confession from a wild man on the open floor; leggy urban girls in red lipstick and tight jackets lit beeswax

God, History & Ukraine its location in Ukraine’s heartland, the edifice was Russian Orthodox – not Ukrainian Orthodox, and took its orders from the Moscow Patriarch. The celebrants were mostly women. They toted their decorated fruit baskets, offerings which reflected deep competitive urgings, for they now included immaculate bananas, hirsute kiwis and violet Bulgarian grapes among the forbidden fruit. The church was built beside a sypilka, a natural spring. The kerchiefed ladies gathered silently in prim rows around the well and stood patiently with their glass jars, as a young deacon worked the wheel and brought up bucket after bucket of cool water from the depths. A beggar woman squatting inside the iron gate croaked loudly at a ragged boy about eight, who laughingly eluded her knobby crutch and slipped away through the crowd. She shook her bowl of kopeks at him, crying out that he had tried to steal it.

tapers and towered above their stocky relatives like caryatids of modernity; fat yellow candles flickered over the sooty icons and put a tiny gold flame of mysterious life in every eye, whether black, brown, or blue. Here was the great and feverish bodily dirge of public life – life as spectacle, life as illusion, life as a restless miracle that can’t believe in itself, but must always seek another; life as this guttural sighing, this moaning – these heart-felt utterances and inner stirrings were the audible signs of our universal disenchantment with daily existence; and they joined together and made themselves into a felt thing, a muffled keening that resounded through the stone archways, alcoves and crypts like a rushing flood, to drown everyone present – and they wanted it, too. You could see them blissfully drowning in it, in themselves – drowning in flames of color, drowning in meaning, drowning in an answer to life.

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Returning to my ancestral homeland in the fading days of the Orange Revolution, I saw that everything I knew about Ukraine was wrongheaded and patently indifferent to the miasma of counter-realities that ghosted its political realms. The vacant hand-painted tents and factional banners with their slogans and invincible-sounding acronyms stretched across Kyiv’s cobbled main streets, and swept the eye over massive outdoor concrete staircases to the horizon: a tumultuous stage-set filled with shaky props where the hero had yet to arrive and slap his horse into action. “There are hundred political parties here. But we are best! Number one!” An excitable young man with a bullet-shaved head assured me. He looked askance when I queried him for comparison’s sake about the program of a rival group across the road. He went

Pursued by the Thing By Larry Frolick

2

into his party’s tent, fiddled with some papers, and stayed there. The short interview with the nosy foreigner was over. A curious dissonance remained behind as the crowds reluctantly began packing up, an aesthetic breach between the hot orange banners of the fresh movement and the cheerful yellow of the still relatively new Ukrainian national flag. It was as if the patriots of the American Revolution had suddenly decided to adopt a flagrantly purple silk for their rallying standard over the nascent blue of Old Betsy. Didn’t such artfulness throw off the key messaging of the vast job at hand? The Orange Revolutionaries had interposed a picturesque novelty between preexisting social fact and the stringent demands of fully realized revolution. Did its shortcomings set the stage for the intensified Maidan Revolution? Revolution means overturning the existing order; revolt stops short.

Revolt is in love with its own potential, which is why it is so attractive to artists, for whom something out of nothing drips sweet grace itself. I had returned to Ukraine to explore a counter-epic to the disaffections of the unresolved urban crisis, the primitive culture of the Carpathian Mountains, the nation’s pine and beech heartland. The brooding black hills constitute the nation’s repository of folk wisdom dating to the Neolithic. I arrived in the provincial capital of Chernivtsi on a Saturday morning. It was August 18, Spaz, Savior’s Day, a holiday that predated Christianity, dedicated to the blessing of the first apples. A thousand celebrants converged on the Cathedral of the Holy Ghost by a gated green park with a wooden water well. Despite

Silence. The crowd at the spring stood unmoving, frozen to the background as in a two-dimensional Byzantine fresco, faces held stiff for inspection – God’s or society’s, one could not say. Delimitated, they melted into the facade of the mid-day sun while the laughing boy scampered through the cathedral doors like he owned the place. I followed him into the dark perfumed interior. A mass of people milled inside, lost in the fragrant confusion, keening, wandering about, crossing themselves, kneeling on the stone floor before dim alcoves, intent on reaching the solace of heaven from every corner. A rail-thin man in baggy clothes performed a complicated genuflection; a priest in a black cassock and smoldering eyes took a rambling confession from a wild man on the open floor; leggy urban girls in red lipstick and tight jackets lit beeswax

God, History & Ukraine its location in Ukraine’s heartland, the edifice was Russian Orthodox – not Ukrainian Orthodox, and took its orders from the Moscow Patriarch. The celebrants were mostly women. They toted their decorated fruit baskets, offerings which reflected deep competitive urgings, for they now included immaculate bananas, hirsute kiwis and violet Bulgarian grapes among the forbidden fruit. The church was built beside a sypilka, a natural spring. The kerchiefed ladies gathered silently in prim rows around the well and stood patiently with their glass jars, as a young deacon worked the wheel and brought up bucket after bucket of cool water from the depths. A beggar woman squatting inside the iron gate croaked loudly at a ragged boy about eight, who laughingly eluded her knobby crutch and slipped away through the crowd. She shook her bowl of kopeks at him, crying out that he had tried to steal it.

tapers and towered above their stocky relatives like caryatids of modernity; fat yellow candles flickered over the sooty icons and put a tiny gold flame of mysterious life in every eye, whether black, brown, or blue. Here was the great and feverish bodily dirge of public life – life as spectacle, life as illusion, life as a restless miracle that can’t believe in itself, but must always seek another; life as this guttural sighing, this moaning – these heart-felt utterances and inner stirrings were the audible signs of our universal disenchantment with daily existence; and they joined together and made themselves into a felt thing, a muffled keening that resounded through the stone archways, alcoves and crypts like a rushing flood, to drown everyone present – and they wanted it, too. You could see them blissfully drowning in it, in themselves – drowning in flames of color, drowning in meaning, drowning in an answer to life.

3




Mezhigiriya When ousted president Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych fled Ukraine on February 22, 2014, he left behind a notoriously lavish estate, which he named Honka, in the small town of Mezhigiriya outside Kyiv. Said to have cost around one billon dollars, the estate spread over 140 acres. The compound had a private zoo, golf course, a replica of a Spanish galleon, a personal lake, dozens of vehicles, an administrative complex, security force of 650 and a staff of one thousand. For years, the rumors of this lavish estate, which was acquired through shady deals from a public trust, swirled through the minds of Ukrainians. Nobody was allowed to see it, let alone go inside. It didn’t exist. After the president vacated to Russia, Euromaidan self-defense forces opened the gilded gates and let anyone come through for a visit. What was there surpassed most Ukrainians’ expectations, most were dumbfounded at the amount of luxury and opulence Yanukovych had built in such a short period of time. He was president for less than five years. Most of Yanukovych’s and his mistress’s personal belongings were packed up in the night of February 21, 2014, but there was still a sizeable amount of personal effects left scattered throughout the five story residence. Most of the objects pictured here were found in his private church inside Honka, his office, the fifth-floor dressing room and closet (the entire floor was devoted to clothing for both the former president and his mistress, mostly stripped and taken away), the movie theater, billiard and games room and the living quarters. His wardrobe alone was estimated at around one million dollars. Objects of varying value were found, from chochkis to an eight-million euro chandelier, Mezhigiriya had everything.

Sloggi brand underwear, size xxl. 12 - 15 euros per pair.

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Epaulette of a police Sergeant, found inside briefcase. Tanino Crisci crocodile shoe. Size 46 (Europe), size 12 (usa). Personal bible of Viktor Yanukovych, found inside his private church.

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Stefano Ricci custom dress shirt, embroidered with ‘vfy’ (for Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych) on shirt pocket. Found on fifth floor, used entirely for wardrobe and dressing room.


Mezhigiriya When ousted president Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych fled Ukraine on February 22, 2014, he left behind a notoriously lavish estate, which he named Honka, in the small town of Mezhigiriya outside Kyiv. Said to have cost around one billon dollars, the estate spread over 140 acres. The compound had a private zoo, golf course, a replica of a Spanish galleon, a personal lake, dozens of vehicles, an administrative complex, security force of 650 and a staff of one thousand. For years, the rumors of this lavish estate, which was acquired through shady deals from a public trust, swirled through the minds of Ukrainians. Nobody was allowed to see it, let alone go inside. It didn’t exist. After the president vacated to Russia, Euromaidan self-defense forces opened the gilded gates and let anyone come through for a visit. What was there surpassed most Ukrainians’ expectations, most were dumbfounded at the amount of luxury and opulence Yanukovych had built in such a short period of time. He was president for less than five years. Most of Yanukovych’s and his mistress’s personal belongings were packed up in the night of February 21, 2014, but there was still a sizeable amount of personal effects left scattered throughout the five story residence. Most of the objects pictured here were found in his private church inside Honka, his office, the fifth-floor dressing room and closet (the entire floor was devoted to clothing for both the former president and his mistress, mostly stripped and taken away), the movie theater, billiard and games room and the living quarters. His wardrobe alone was estimated at around one million dollars. Objects of varying value were found, from chochkis to an eight-million euro chandelier, Mezhigiriya had everything.

Sloggi brand underwear, size xxl. 12 - 15 euros per pair.

30

Epaulette of a police Sergeant, found inside briefcase. Tanino Crisci crocodile shoe. Size 46 (Europe), size 12 (usa). Personal bible of Viktor Yanukovych, found inside his private church.

31

Stefano Ricci custom dress shirt, embroidered with ‘vfy’ (for Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych) on shirt pocket. Found on fifth floor, used entirely for wardrobe and dressing room.


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Yura, Lviv Oblast. Came to Kyiv in January as he felt things were stagnating and he wanted to help. Didn’t want confrontation, but willing to fight if that’s the case.

Sergei, Kyiv. A Russian speaker, but a proud Ukrainian. Was apolitical but thought Yanukovych “was up to no good. He was a thug and always will be a thug.”

Vova, just graduated high school last year but has no job. He said it was impossible to get any work, unless you paid a bribe.

Valentine, Kyiv. Wanted to see “what the fuss was all about”. He liked the fuss and hoped they keep it up.

Nastya, Kyiv. She came down on a Sunday to wander Maidan and see the Hrushevskogo barricades with her father, who wasn’t convinced that this was the better way forward.

Sasha, Rivne Oblast. With not much going on at home, he was on the frontlines almost from the beginning.

Serozhya, Chernitvsi Oblast. Yanukovych is a liar.

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Yura, Lviv Oblast. Came to Kyiv in January as he felt things were stagnating and he wanted to help. Didn’t want confrontation, but willing to fight if that’s the case.

Sergei, Kyiv. A Russian speaker, but a proud Ukrainian. Was apolitical but thought Yanukovych “was up to no good. He was a thug and always will be a thug.”

Vova, just graduated high school last year but has no job. He said it was impossible to get any work, unless you paid a bribe.

Valentine, Kyiv. Wanted to see “what the fuss was all about”. He liked the fuss and hoped they keep it up.

Nastya, Kyiv. She came down on a Sunday to wander Maidan and see the Hrushevskogo barricades with her father, who wasn’t convinced that this was the better way forward.

Sasha, Rivne Oblast. With not much going on at home, he was on the frontlines almost from the beginning.

Serozhya, Chernitvsi Oblast. Yanukovych is a liar.

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CRIMINALLY LIABLE PERSON (CRIMINAL OFFENDER) Article 18. Criminal offender 1. A criminal offender shall mean a sane person who has committed a criminal offense at the age when criminal liability may rise under this Code.

Article 113. Sabotage Committing, for any purpose prejudicial to the State, setting off explosions, fires, or committing other actions for the purposes of mass destruction of people, or causing bodily injuries or any other harm to their health, or destruction or damaging of important industrial or defense facilities, and also committing, for the same purposes, actions to cause radioactive pollution or mass poisoning, or to advance an epidemic, epizootic, or epiphytic diseases,- shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term of eight to fifteen years.

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CRIMINALLY LIABLE PERSON (CRIMINAL OFFENDER) Article 18. Criminal offender 1. A criminal offender shall mean a sane person who has committed a criminal offense at the age when criminal liability may rise under this Code.

Article 113. Sabotage Committing, for any purpose prejudicial to the State, setting off explosions, fires, or committing other actions for the purposes of mass destruction of people, or causing bodily injuries or any other harm to their health, or destruction or damaging of important industrial or defense facilities, and also committing, for the same purposes, actions to cause radioactive pollution or mass poisoning, or to advance an epidemic, epizootic, or epiphytic diseases,- shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term of eight to fifteen years.

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Article 181. Trespass against health of persons under pretence of preaching or ministering 1. Organizing or leading a group, which operates under pretence of preaching or ministering accompanied with the impairment of health of people or sexual dissipation, shall be punishable by restraint of liberty for a term up to three years, or imprisonment for the same term. 2. The same actions accompanied by involvement of minors in activities of the group, -

Article 111. High treason 1. High treason, that is an act willfully committed by a citizen of Ukraine to the detriment of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability, defense capability, and state, economic or information security of Ukraine: joining the enemy at the time of martial law or armed conflict, espionage, assistance in subversive activities against Ukraine provided to a foreign state, a foreign organization or their representatives, shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term of ten to fifteen years.

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Article 181. Trespass against health of persons under pretence of preaching or ministering 1. Organizing or leading a group, which operates under pretence of preaching or ministering accompanied with the impairment of health of people or sexual dissipation, shall be punishable by restraint of liberty for a term up to three years, or imprisonment for the same term. 2. The same actions accompanied by involvement of minors in activities of the group, -

Article 111. High treason 1. High treason, that is an act willfully committed by a citizen of Ukraine to the detriment of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability, defense capability, and state, economic or information security of Ukraine: joining the enemy at the time of martial law or armed conflict, espionage, assistance in subversive activities against Ukraine provided to a foreign state, a foreign organization or their representatives, shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term of ten to fifteen years.

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