I arrived in Lviv about a week ago. As I was talking to the people around me and while visiting friends it became clear to me, that there is a distaste for government and politicians who really aren’t politicians but greedy money grabbers who insist on profiting from the people they were elected by, and robbing the nation they run. There is no interest on the part of government to represent anyone but themselves. They are businessmen. They are billionaires.
Ukraine has been experiencing this for a long time. One might say nonstop since the Tsars ruled over Eastern Ukraine and the Austrians and other neighbors afterwards until August 24th, 1991. What really happened that day? They say hindsight is 20/20 funny we are about three years away from 2020 we should see perfectly by then.
On August 24, 1991 Ukrainian proclaimed its independence at noon. From that moment on there were people who immediately became part of the government and immediately started robbing, plundering and leading Free Ukraine down a path of no return for its inhabitants. Russia was well aware of what was happening and that is why they held Gorbachov hostage. They were preparing for the major regrouping of themselves, and there was no way they would let go of Ukraine. For them this meant get rid of Gorbi, change their name and continue down the imperial path. For them freedom was all a hoax.
During Maidan, the Revolution of dignity where the young people of Ukraine almost a quarter of a century later, said enough of this , we want Ukraine. Not a hybrid Ukraine, not a crime ridden Ukraine, simply a dignified European Nation. For this they were beaten and killed. Because Russia could not contain them, they marched in Krym, annexed it to Russia and invaded Donbass and Luhansk….. They had no alternative. The new post-Soviet generation had spoken.
On November 21, 2016, I attended a funeral mass for all those who have perished and are fighting for this free and independent European State they wish to live in called Ukraine. The prayers included statements such as, we needed angels to watch over what was to come after February 19th 2014 and we got them. We got 100 of them called the heavenly hundred. We needed to understand we have nations on our borders who don’t want to coexist with us, they want to simply march in and take a piece of us. The Ukrainian people in east, west south and north realized it is in no one’s interest for Ukraine to exist.
The Ukrainian people came to realize that there are global forces who are coming up in the world, that will control the new governments in different countries, and no matter who gets elected where, Russia will stay on the Eastern front and be responsible for world chaos and turbulence. They often refer to the Malaysian airplane M-17 that was brought down by Russian Turbulence, and no one cares about, not the European Dutch and not the Asian Malaysian…as a prime example of how Russia is in power and can do as it pleases.
Isis was born during the period of the Ukraine Revolution of dignity the Euromaidan 2014. It was at this time that Russia started to annex new lands and take charge in Syria and Iran, yet no one seemed concerned. The battle was named a battle on terrorism from the Middle East. Russia walked away from this chaos clean as a whistle. Does anyone pay attention to the fact that Russia was in Afghanistan before the USA? Does that not mean anything to anyone? There are elections taking place. People are voting, but there is no change.
There was a very meaningful sign at Maidan that read we need a system change not a toilet. In Ukraine as the Russians were in the process of invading, Poroshenko was elected President. I ask people about it. The response is brilliant. The response has been experienced in Ukraine since the so called fall of the iron curtain in 1991.
A businessman is out for his own pocket. In this case out for his chocolate factory. He has no interest in running a country. I ask so what can be done. The answer is nothing, we are at war. We are in a war with a super power that the rest of the world calls Hybrid, but we are dying. We elected him and we are busy fighting. His term is four or five years and we have opportunity then, to elect someone who isn’t a businessman surrounded by his buddies who are, all looking to fill their pockets at our expense. We shouldn’t elect a businessman again.
In conclusion again, the Ukrainian people are way ahead of this world game. They were ahead three years ago when they stood at Maidan. They are ahead now. They know a businessman can’t run a country……
These are soldiers who are ready to defend Ukraine now. They deserve respect for their bravery and dignity, because these young men and women are the only ones fighting the mighty brutal evil Russian Army while the world believes RT and Putin propaganda. No foreign country taught them to defend themselves nor does any foreign country help them. They get band aids and humanitarian help that’s it.
After 25 years of demilitarization in Ukraine, this army got together in less than a year and marched down the main street of Kyiv on August 24th to celebrate Independence Day. That is where the Maidan defenders of Ukraine had been gunned down by Putin’s snipers.
At the same time when during the week of February 18th, 2014, Russia entered Ukraine in Krym (Crimea) and Eastern Ukraine, Ukraine was without a President, Parliament had just been taken over by Maidan, Yanik’s house was vacated by him and he fled to Russia to Putin never to return again, and the funerals for the “Heavenly Sotnia” started and were taking place everyday.
The Maidan “samo oborona” national guard, kept the border in check, by going to the front immediately. While they did this, they were allowing the military forces to form. This is incredible. We should all be so proud of our young Ukrainian people. I don’t think they will ever allow themselves to be occupied or ruled by Russia again. It is over…
Notice there is no display of weapons at this parade. There is a display of young men and women, and they are beautiful and they are defending their nation from a horrible attack a cruel invader, Russia. They are honored to be walking and marching through the streets of their capital Kyiv to the tune of “Za Ukrayinu za yiyi Volyu za chest; i slavu za narod” .
The Maidan was a movement to defend our Ukrainian dignity against terror, corruption and occupation in camouflage. Maidan2014 exposed Russia and corruption to the world. A world who stood by and watched while educated people were shot down in their capital city in the heart of Europe. A world which later watched the invaders, the Russians shoot down a passenger plane over Eastern Ukraine and not be tried for this offense.
Now under the will of Maidan Ukraine was saved, and the Ukrainian army got itself together and is now defending Ukraine’s dignity and standing with the Maidan national guard volunteers. Again Ukraine is more united than ever.
Poroshenko states, these forces were born in a Free Ukraine and they will defend all of free Ukraine, every ethnic group, religion, tribe , etc that is Ukraine and is found on Ukrainian soil and needs protection from an invader or aggressor. In this case it is Russia.
I remember a cold war slogan, better dead than red……
We should all be so proud of the Ukraine defense forces, and be happy to be a part of this great nation called Ukrayina and descendents of ancient Kyiv rus’ . It is Ukraine alone that is defending the world from Putin, who sponsors Iran, Korea and ISIS. These terror groups are all on his tab.
Many people think that EuroMaidan began the day after people realized that Yanukovych was not serious about reaching an agreement with the EU. They became fearful of a regression and a union with Russia and Putin. They began to do what Ukrainian people do when there is confusion, danger, and something to talk about. They begin walking to the Maidan. Here it is November 22nd and there is a problem so the walking and gathering begins.
This was true January 22, 1918 when people started to walk, gather and come in wagons with the blue and yellow flags flying everywhere. I know about this, because Dr. Bilynsky a colonel in the UNR army lived with us when I was growing up and told us about it. There was no internet, no social media, no television at the time. This was a huge euphoric gathering, but the world did not hear about it. But the maidan is where they gathered and Maidan is where the reading of the declaration of Ukrainian Independence took place on this date.
By January 29th, it was too much for the Russians to handle. They sent 4000 Bolsheviks to recapture Ukraine and met a group of Ukrainian soldiers at the Kruty train station. Of the 400 men 300 were young students who stepped out to defend themselves against the oncoming Bolsheviks. Over 200 of them died within hours. It was back at the Maidan that this horrible tragedy was mentioned in March of that year 1918.
By 1933 over 14 million people starved in Eastern Ukraine because of Stalin’s planned famine. This happens to be the 80th anniversary of the tragic Holodomor in which 10 million starved to death. Andrea Chalupa said it clearly in a Time Magazine Article from 12/2013 “ Stalin engineered the famine to rid himself of a stubborn enemy. Ukrainians had fought for their independence during the Russian revolution and for a short time they had beaten back the Reds. What’s more, Ukraine being the “bread basket of Europe” had a rich and ancient culture of farmers, who wanted to hold on to their land and their identity. As a civilization, Ukraine is more than a 1000 years older than Moscow. For Stalin as for Putin today, this would be a very hard back to break.”
During the great famine Holodomor, Stalin replaced the dead Ukrainians with Russians who were deported from their homeland in the North. They changed the face, the language, and the work ethic of Eastern Ukraine. This is where Yanukovych was brought up. It is no wonder that his heart is not with Ukraine but with Putin. It is no wonder that he is causing havoc amongst the Ukrainian people. And who is it that is coming to the Maidan to figure out what to do about the future? The students and young people of course. As in the battle of Kruty but today there is internet, social media and communication. This can’t be hidden as it was in days gone by.
By August 24, 1991 Ukraine was again ready for a walk a maidan. They proclaimed independence and tried again to tear away from the Russians who were the Soviets of the day before. By November 2004 there was still a problem. This man called Yanukovych who had grown up in those lands that had lost millions of their people to Holodomor, wanted to be president. He was raised by very pro Russian pro Soviet types. This wasn’t going to work so the people went for a walk. They walked to Maidan because yes, sure enough there was a problem. This walk had some technology supporting it so it got a name. It was the Orange Revolution. Unfortunately those winners were not yet strong enough to hold on to the country. They began to argue amongst themselves, and before you know Yanukovych the loser is in power. He actually had a come back, like a movie star. He incarcerated Yulia Tymoshenko, snuffed out the opposition and found a bunch of cronies like himself and they are behaving as if they were in charge of a drug cartel. They are accumulating enormous wealth and guess where their investments are.? Yes you are right in the West in Europe. That doesn’t sound to good now does it. He is running to Putin every chance he gets and has left the Ukrainian people and the Europeans out standing in the cold.
By November 24th a month ago, over 100 thousand people had gathered at Maidan. They did what Ukrainians do, they walked to Maidan because there was a problem. The difference this time has been internet, social media, communication with the world and the walk and gathering had a name. It had a title. It was called EUROMAYDAN. Outside of Ukraine, 4 people stood in front of the Ukrainian Mission to the UN with signs, we want Europe. UkrainEurope. Word had gone out and the Ukrainian Community in New York the local UCCA branch sent out a poster per internet and called the people to gather after the annual Holodomor Mass at St. Patricks Cathedral on 5th Ave. The Maidan became global. It traveled from Ukraine to St. Patricks and the Ukrainian Mission. By Sunday scores of cities were uniting with Maidan. It began to have an identity. EUROMAIDAN became a new word. Slava Ukrayini , Heroyam Slava became the new greeting of EuroMAIDAN sympathizers. A movement was born.
Identifying posters were made and shared all over the world. e.g. I’m Ukrainian I can’t keep Calm, and Ukraine belongs to EU, and No to Russia Yes to EU and many many more. During the Maidan issues were discussed. Politicians came to speak. World leaders came to speak. It became newsworthy and slowly the world press began to mention that something was happening in KYIV.
By November 30th Berkut the riot police came out and started beating on the peaceful protesters and students. The ones taken to prison became known as The Bankova Prisoners because that is the street they were beaten on. #Euromaidan FB page SOS was set up to offer free legal assistance and it still works today. The most recent arrests and assaults have been the stabbing of Dmytro Prypets in Kharkiv, Pavlo Mazurenko in Maidan and Tatyana Chornovol on Christmas Day December 25th.
To date no one has been prosecuted for the November 30 and December 1st attacks. Tomorrow will be the one month anniversary. On December 25th UDAR Klichko’s party put together a list of 80 perpetrators for the attacks on the peaceful demonstrators. This information can be found on klichko.org web site.
Later Yanukovych visited Russia on December 6th smiling all the way. This spurs on a huge march to Maidan and by December 8th on Sunday Lenin is toppled over. The last of the big Lenin statues in Kyiv. The riot police try to dismantle the barricades to no avail. After the December 1st attacks the people barricaded themselves in at Maidan. They were not going to be beaten again. By December 10th western diplomats began to visit Maidan and express their solidarity. McCain, Murphy and others to name a few. On December 14th during the Okean Elzy performance the light show the people put on was spectacular. The lifting of the phones for Heroyam Slava was wonderful. McCain saw this we all did. By the 17th Russia and Ukraine had signed an agreement and Maidan continues to draw people. There is still a big problem, and that is Ukraine does not want to be in any kind of union with Russia.
As long as there is a problem, Maidan will continue. Why? Because that’s who we are. That’s what we do. Ukrainians get together and talk about problems. This goes back to Kozak times. The Kozaks practiced democracy long before there was a Ukraine.
We the Ukrainian people will make it through this one as well. Why because the young people don’t want to play this game any longer. I have seen it for myself. No one under 30 wants PUTIN.
Halyna Klymuk Chomiak
P.S. This was written in December 2013 when I realized people in New York didn’t understand what was happening in Ukraine and what what Maidan. They didn’t understand that it is when there is trouble in Ukraine, Ukrainians come out in their capital city and let it be know. This happened in 1914, 1918 and 2004 and 2014 and many many more times. This is what Ukrainian people do. The cause of all the disturbance is Russia trying to occupy and control Ukraine, and Ukrainian thought. In January I went to Kyiv and stayed there till April. I witnessed what Ukrainian people will stand for, and I witnessed Putin’s aggression and Russia’s passivity towards their country invading and killing innocent people. The pictures here show that not much has changed since the early 1900’s. Yet now the world knows and is standing by and watching.
Maidan started in November 2013 and has been functioning till the present day.
It is this Maidan that united Ukrainians in Ukraine, In Europe and in the World. Many of the previous Maidan groups, Euromaidan, Automaidan, New York maidan and Washington Maidan etc. have renamed their groups. Now they are all separate on FB and I don’t know about the reality. I tend to think we are all still one. The reason is we haven’t achieved the goal of Maidan yet. I can’t believe millions of Ukrainians in Ukraine stood through the ice and cold to become simple clubs all over the world socializing on FB.
It is because of #KyivMaidan that we all got together. It is because of #KyivMaidan that we stood together for Ukraine’s dignity. It is the #KyivMaidan that continues to supply ATO and it is the performers of #KyivMaidan that keep raising money for and supporting the volunteer Battalions in Donbas and ATO. It is still all one. It is still #Maidan. It is still living in tents but not in the center of Kyiv but closer to where ATO is in Eastern Ukraine. It is still operating in every city of Ukraine and major cities of the world. Why change the name?
Until Ukraine is free and there are no Russians killing our people in Ukraine
it is #Maidan the stand for Ukraine and it’s dignity that is central. Let us not change our names. They are all pseudonyms but the real name for why we are all together is Ukraine. Ukraine is our country and Kyiv is our capital and #Euromaidan is our unifying factor and has been since 2013.
It started with a bunch of kids who wanted to join the EU and put an end to corruption. It started with the desire to end corruption by getting rid of Yanik, remember ciao vitja ciao……!! We haven’t achieved anything, because Yanik was Putin’s puppet, and now we have Putin. Corruption is moving out at a snail’s pace. There is a war. People think Krym (Crimea) is Russia. Ukraine isn’t a part of the EU.
The people of maidan, have been beaten, shot and killed but not broken. They are working everyday to supply and keep ATO going. They have become MP’s and community leaders. Let’s not forget that. Let’s not leave that name for Ukraine’s strongest movement for self determination and self esteem ever.
Цього стерпіти не можна. Та й мені не годиться мовчати…
Кажуть – Бог помагає. Добрим людям “засвітитись” добром. А підлим дурням, набродові всякому, хоч би й “ідейному” – показатись перед світом своєю підлістю й дурістю. От і задумали жбурнути ще один камінь в Україну…
Але якими ж треба бути ідіотами, щоб жертвою міжнародного кіднепінгу зробити жінку, та ще й з іменем Надія?!
Для українців жінка – “як сонце і повітря довкола нас”. Вона Матір – та, яка народжує; й Дружина – та, яка чоловіка робить людиною. А Надія Савченко – ще й Захисниця-Берегиня, яка не злякалася станути проти цим, які Україну розривають та кров праведную точать! Це як би над Божою Матір’ю поглумитись. Та й фотографія Надії у шоломі летуна – як ікона.
Цього жоден українець не може простити – злочинців за це нахабство й блюзніство під ганебний стовп має привести й перед всім світом посоромити, таке перед світом розповівши:
Сотнями років дикі орди рвалися через степ в Україну, щоб нищити й грабувати, щоб вбивати й викрадати те, що в українських чоловіків найдорожче – рідних та коханих жінок і дітей.
Зараз ця орда вже нібито то й не така дика, але так само з усього найбільш їй цікава зброя – для вбивання. Вбивання не лише тіла, але й людської думки, людської душі. Вона й надалі так само жадна й нахабна. Ненавидить нас і нашу свободи.
Ось черговий ординський подвиг – вивезли в Росію й намагаються судити, за вигаданим звинуваченням, не кого іншого, а – нашу НАДІЮ!
Все ясно. Хочуть цим способом відмити себе, звести наклеп на нас.
Що робити їй родині й що робити державним діячам – їм відомо. А що робити нам – всім українцям? Стояти поряд з нею!
Нас не повинно цікавити, що їй інкримінують і що їй “світить”, адже це все брехня й нечуване нахабство! Нас не повинно цікавити, хто в них “суддя”, а тим більш, хто “прокурор”. Бо то ми маємо бути прокурорами, вони – звинуваченими. Суддями-ж – всі чесні люди широкого світу, а ще – Бог та Історія!
Надія Савченко не полохлива Надя, вона воїн. Вона пішла туди, куди побоялися піти інші. Вона і в тюремній камері воїн. Воїн, який лезом своєї хоробрості не вбиває, але вказує. Помагає всім зрозуміти – де добро, а де зло; де темрява, а де – світло!
Бог нам послав НАДІЮ!
Й всі ми маємо стояти поряд з нею.
Всі ж ми – сестри й брати НАДІЇ!
Весь світ має знати: Всі українці – брати і сестри НАДІЇ!
Весь світ має одним голосом кричати: Всі українці – брати і сестри НАДІЇ! Й всі ми, чесні люди – сестри й брати НАДІЇ!
Це має лунати в усіх телевізорів, з усіх радіоприймачів, з усіх газетних і журнальних сторінок, з усіх сайтів, аккаунтів у соцмережах, з усіх футболок, з усіх бігбордів, з усіх уст…
Бо всі ж розуміють:
Ці, хто викрав НАДІЮ – терористи й кіднапери!
Ці, хто лживо оскаржує НАДІЮ – брехуни і злочинці!
Ці, хто поневолює НАДІЮ – людиноненависники й кати!
Hope for Freedom! Freedom for Nadiya!
This will no longer be tolerated!
Therefore I can no longer remain silent…
Ці, хто з НАДІЄЮ – переможуть!
They say “God will Help us”; they say “the light of benevolence and virtue will shine upon good people”; they say that low down scoundrels and vagrant tramps even if they have ideals, will be exposed and brought out into the open for the world to see their maliciousness and their vicious stupidity.
And look at what they have sought out this time! Yet another stone to throw at Ukraine. But what fools they be, to choose someone to be a victim of international kidnapping who is a woman; and a woman with the name of Nadiya, which means “Hope” in Ukrainian.
For the Ukrainian people, a woman has a likeness to the “sun and wind that surrounds us”. She is the mother who gives birth and nurtures her offspring and her spouse. It is she that transforms a man into a person. And now, Nadiya Sawchenko is a defender and a keeper of virtue, who was not afraid to stand against those who are tearing Ukraine to shreds and churns her sacred blood. It is as if they mean to dishonour the Blessed Mother. Nadiya’s image flying in her helmet has become a holy icon.
No Ukrainian can forgive the evil-doers of their violent impudence and blasphemy. They will be brought to the pillars of shame for the world to see, and then dishonour and belittle them. They will then tell the world what really happened.
For hundreds of years savage hordes charged and tore through the steppes into Ukraine. They did this so as to rape and plunder the land and take what was most dear from the men of the steppes, the men of Ukraine, their loving wifes and children.
At this time, Ukraine is experiencing a similar situation. A similar destructive horde in encroaching onto Ukrainian soil, and invading Ukraine with a curious new weapon. It is a weapon of choice. It not only kills the person, but takes away his thoughts and soul. It is a greedy selfish invader. It is a group who hates the free thinking Ukrainians. This is what they are now doing; they’ve captured, kidnapped and taken by force into Russia our “Hope”, our “Nadiya. They are now planning to try her in their Russian court and find her guilty. They plan on sentencing her to life in prison.
It is clearly understandable what her family needs to do and what government officials have to do, but what are we Ukrainians to do? We have to stand by her, that’s what we have to do!
We should not be interested in the fact that they are incriminating her, for what s there in store for her ?! We should not be interested in who their judge or prosecutor is. Why? Because we are the ones who should be the prosecutors and they are the ones who are guilty and should be tried. The real judges are the virtuous people of the world, and in addition to God, history will prove her innocence. We are well aware that even if she were sentenced to life imprisonment, this savage prison will changet and move sooner than we know. Nadiya Sawchenko is not a timid Nadya, “Hope”, she is a warrior. She has gone where others dare not go. She is a warrior even in her prison cell. She’s a warrior who doesn’t use the blade of her sword to kill, but uses it to courageously guide the virtuous. She helps all of us to understand where good can be found and where evil lurks in the darkness; but where is the light? Where is it?
God has sent us “Nadiya” “Hope”. It is our duty to stand by her. We are all “Hope’s Nadiya’s” sisters and brothers.
The whole world needs to know that all the Ukrainian people are “Hope’s Nadiya’s brothers and sisters.
The whole world needs to stand together and shout unanimously in one loud voice
“All Ukrainian people are “Hope’s Nadiya’s” brothers and sisters; we the world, are all Nadiya’s sisters and brothers!
This should echo throughout the mass media so that everyone will understand that…….
Those that took “Hope Nadiya” away from us are terrorists they are kidnappers…
Those who willingly fabricate lies in order to discredit “Hope Nadiya” are the liars and criminals.
Those who incarcerated “Hope Nadiya” are the haters of humanity and murderers themselves.
And of course we all know
Those who stand by Nadiya, those that stand with Nadiya will overcome….
says Yuri Havrylyuk Юрій Гаврилюк
translated into English by Halyna Klymuk
Vladyslav is a Ukrainian man from the Kyiv Oblast in Ukraine who was badly beaten on December 31, 2013 on Bank Street in Kyiv. This is his story.
He is a truck driver. He is married and has three children. A daugher who is 17 another daughter is 8 and a son who is 18 months old. Although he feels better he can’t drive because of all the medication he takes. This makes him dizzy.
I asked him when he got involved in Maidan and what brought him to the brink of protesting. He said that from the beginning in 2004 he simply could not accept Yanukovych as his president. That fact that he chose not to vote for a partnership with the EU was the cherry on top. Vladyslav said he was so terribly dissappointed. Because he is a truck driver and his earnings depend on speed and efficiency in pick up and delivery, the time it takes to cross each border is such a drawback and effects his salary. He felt that not signing this partnership with EU stopped him from doing his job. Prior to that day he had hope that Ukraine would develop along the lines of Poland, and that gave everyone great hope. He would then be able to drive wherever necessary and he could make some money.
He then went on to explain that crossing the border to Russia is awful. Everytime he crosses, somethng wrong is found and he is fined. He reiterated that his happened each and everytime. I then asked where he worked, meaning did he drive his own truck or a company truck. He said it was impossible for him to have his own truck. Every truck company has been bought and there is no room for another. He would never be able to get a permit. Then on November 31st he happened to be listening to the news and heard, that Berkut was beating on the little ones. He then wen to see for himself and walked up to Bank street. He smiled when he said the little ones, because he said that is what we all call them. TIhey are our pride and joy, they are our students. When I got to Bank Street I was shocked at all the burning.
They had spilled the fuel and lit it. Then they were setting off fireworks and throwing grenades and other things. I started to walk up to the metal wall they had built. I walked up really close thinking it was Berkut. It wasn’t Berkut. It was the army, the Internal Army. The boys who are conscripted into this army are boys that have just turned 18. I saw I was looking into the eyes of children, he said. They were so frightened. I saw scared children with fright and tears in their eyes. They really aren’t even armed yet. One shouted at me “Diad’ku idit’ zvidsy”. Which is Uncle leave here…… This scared child told me to do this. You must understand he said, they take on an oath that they will not disobey orders, or they will be put up to defend themselves in military court and may be court marshalled. He then went on to say, I really wanted to talk but I saw I was dealing with kids, and that there really wasn’t anyone to talk to, so I turned around and started to leave.
There was a loud bang and sparks at my feet. It was one of those special grenades that are very very loud and cast a strong spark and light. It deafens and blinds you. I turned and saw that the little boys has separated and from behind them came the huge Berkut. These were the 2 meter tall big strong men in their 40’s. They are the ones who had been hiding behind the kids and were throwing the grenades and fire crackers. More exploded, and I lost my orientation for a few moments. There was a horrible ringing in my ears. It wouldn’t go away, he said. So I sat down. Suddenly they grabbed me under my arms. They had obviously already singled me out because I had walked up to the boys and wanted to talk to them. They started to escort me away. For some reason I thought they were ours and were taking me back to Maidan. But that wasn’t the case. They started to beat me and hit me over the head with the rubber batons.
Then they took me to a holding place in an enclosed yard and made me lie face down to the ground. I was very confused and really did not understand what was happening. I raised my eyes and saw at least two hundred large Berkut stand around me. They were all over the yard. They began to search me. I noticed there were no witnesses to what was happening. I also learned that this was not the local Berkut. This was the special force of Berkut from Krym (Crimea). After searching me they found that I had nothing. I had maybe 10 hryvnja’s in my pocket ID that I was the father of many children and had a wife and some cigarettes. I had no real money nor weapons and this angered them. They began to beat me with those batons. They pounded me all over my body everywhere. At first it seems to be a plain and simple rubber baton. It isn’t. The front of it is a flashlight. To light the flashlight it is loaded with 4 D batteries and it is about 40cm long with is about 16 inches in length. Then they hit me in the eye. He looked at me and said ‘Pani Halyu” which is a polite way of addressing me in Ukrainian, would you like to know how? By this time I could barely write. I felt so sorry for this man, and at the same time I was so happy he was alive and sitting at a table with his wife and with me and talking about this. I was so proud of him. I said of course please tell me.
He said, they told me to kneel down and hold my arms at my sides straight down. I was not allowed to raise my arms for any reason. When they shined the light in my eye I raised my arm to cover my eye. At that moment they hit me in the eye and in the face several times, then 5 of them jumped me and continued to pound me, and everytime I raised my arm to protect my face three more came to help with beating until I lost conciousness. I fell over. My last thoughts were, why are they doing this. I didn’t then and don’t know now why they hate they Kyyany so much. (Kyyany are citizens and residents of Kyiv). Why are they so mad at us. I chose mad because it is beyond anger it is a rage. As I lay on the ground they stepped on my head. They started to shout at me and yell and screamed you Kyiv billy goat you bray, you want to hear a real noise listen to the sound of a Krym boot/shoe grinding in your head. They kicked me in the head several times and then hand cuffed me. They took me to jail where they interrogated me for a long time.
During the time I was in jail my company fired me. My wife was forced to write an affidavite saying I voluntarily resigned. I am not working now, nor can I drive now with my wounds. We have to buy my medicine and I go to a doctor who is interested only in healing thank goodness. In school the teachers are fair to my children. There are families who are government affiliated and they do remark about things to my children.
We then noticed two men had come in and sat down near us and were listening so we changed the topic of conversation.
He told me another story about when he drove his truck to Germany once and at the border he stepped out to have a cigarette. The German police came and were what he thought was yelling at him and telling him he can’t smoke here only in designated areas. He put out his cigarette then put a 50 in his passport and handed it to the police. He thought he was doing the right thing because that is what you do when you travel from Ukraine to Russia. The Germans got mad and handcuffed him and arrested him. In the customes jail, a translator explained that was common practice where he came from. He apologized and they let him go.
He then said all his life he felt he was a middle class citizen. He did well in school, he held a job and took care of his family. On Sunday he went to church. This is what his parents had done and his grand parents. He was very proud of his family. They have been Kyyany for generations. When he went to the EU he felt he was not even a second class citizen but a third class. After all of this he felt he would like to take his family and leave Europe and move to Canada.
There is more to this story but we have to meet again in a different place.