Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • [protestors shouting]

  • [gunshots]

  • [man 1 speaking Ukrainian] Do something.

  • Do something for the revolution.

  • [man 2 speaking Ukrainian] I'm filming.

  • -This is the Ukrainian Revolution. -[shouting continues]

  • It's fun.

  • -They're shooting over there! -[gunshots]

  • Don't go there!

  • Don't go there! They're shooting over there!

  • There, he fell.

  • I was just dragging a dead body.

  • I stepped in blood. You can't surprise me with anything.

  • You thought it would be easy, just go to Maidan,

  • hang out a little and then go back?

  • Not me. I always wanted to be on the front lines.

  • [man] That's it. He's dead.

  • [men shouting in Ukrainian]

  • [narrator speaking English] For centuries, the Ukraine has existed

  • at the axis between east and west.

  • In 1991, Ukraine declares its independence from the Soviet Union.

  • In 2004, pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanukovych,

  • wins the presidential vote.

  • The election was found to be rigged,

  • as a result, the people take to the streets

  • in a peaceful protest called the Orange Revolution.

  • They are successful and the election results are overturned.

  • During the years following,

  • Ukraine struggles to find economic stability.

  • 2010, Yanukovych returns.

  • This time the election is confirmed and he regains full control.

  • While promising EU membership to the public,

  • Yanukovych secretly negotiates a competing alignment with Russia.

  • In fall 2013, a key milestone approaches

  • as Yanukovych appears ready to sign an association with the EU.

  • Yet, as the people look to the west, their leader turns to the east,

  • and the future of the nation hangs in the balance.

  • [in Ukrainian] There is no alternative to the integration with the EU.

  • [Ekaterina Averchenko] Something was promised to people,

  • everything was working toward this,

  • and then...

  • [Mustafa Nayyem] On November 21st,

  • Prime Minister Azarov said they were not signing the agreement.

  • It was hard to make a decision to stop the process

  • of signing the EU Free Trade Agreement.

  • -[people chanting] -Listen, listen, you can always scream.

  • We know you can scream.

  • It's a big step backwards, not just a step of one generation,

  • but all the way back to my grandparents in the USSR.

  • This... outraged people, not just because times are tough now,

  • but they also stole our children's future.

  • My friend wrote me on Facebook,

  • "Did you see Mustafa's call to come to Maidan?"

  • STATUS UPDATE

  • I said, "Yes, I saw it."

  • [Averchenko] I was working late.

  • I opened Facebook and the first post I saw said

  • to come to Maidan.

  • I closed my laptop.

  • The next time I opened it was a month and a half later.

  • [Maksim Panov] Everything began here on Maidan.

  • First, there were about 300-400 people.

  • We were looking at each other and saying,

  • "Where are these thousands of people that Mustafa called?"

  • People gradually began to come out

  • from the subway and public transport,

  • and in half an hour there were already thousands of people.

  • [Olena Stadnik] The next day, people woke up and went to Maidan.

  • Despite the rain, we were here.

  • [man] I came here because several days ago,

  • our government crossed out the future of Ukraine,

  • and the aspirations of Ukrainian youth.

  • I came here to defend my future,

  • the future of my children, compatriots and country.

  • Vitali Klitschko came to Maidan when he saw that a huge crowd was gathering there.

  • He brought his truck with the banner of his political party

  • but people made him take it away.

  • [overlapping chatter]

  • In general, these were people indifferent to politics.

  • -[chanting] Ukraine is part of Europe! -[horn blowing]

  • [Nayyem] When students started to mass together,

  • it became clear that something was gonna happen.

  • [chanting] Ukraine is part of Europe!

  • [chanting continues]

  • [chanting continues]

  • What energy there was! I have no words to express it!

  • Some people outside Maidan were angry with us,

  • saying, "It's like a festival, not a protest.

  • You are just standing, singing songs and dancing."

  • We are standing here to prove that Ukraine is a European country,

  • to reverse the existing political regime.

  • We dream of a better future. [giggles]

  • [Katya Korniyko] I went to a café,

  • and I sat at a table with some of the students,

  • and I fell in love with these kids,

  • because their souls are so pure, and they believe in Ukraine so much.

  • [cheering]

  • Look at the people, how inspired they are,

  • not because of alcohol or drugs, but because of togetherness.

  • [chanting] Together, till the end!

  • I'm applauding for those who came out for European integration.

  • [Averchenko] People came out because the government promised them

  • to make an agreement with the European Union,

  • so we'll finally have steps to live as a European country...

  • like a part of the civil world.

  • -[cheering] -[chanting] Sign!

  • Yanukovych, sign the agreement!

  • Sign!

  • [man] This is our document!

  • We gathered in Maidan,

  • to demand our politicians sign the agreement with the EU!

  • We're waiting on tomorrow's signing.

  • [man 2] The Maidan of 2004 started the same way.

  • People were standing for their rights, and they proved that we have the power.

  • [chanting] Do what we want!

  • [reporter speaking Ukrainian] A miracle didn't happen,

  • and European Union leaders and Ukraine have failed to sign

  • an historic free trade deal after a last minute U-turn from Kyiv.

  • [chanting in Ukrainian] Shame!

  • [overlapping chant] Convict out!

  • Shame! Shame!

  • [Nayyem] There were quite a lot of police. They began encircling Maidan.

  • Police cars were approaching.

  • During the whole day we had the feeling,

  • that the Berkut Special Forces had been preparing for something.

  • [woman] I'd like to pronounce one word:

  • Re-vo-lu-tion.

  • [all chanting] Re-vo-lu-tion!

  • [chanting continues]

  • [chanting] Take down the regime!

  • [chanting] The police with the people!

  • [protestors shouting]

  • Girls stood in the center, and boys filled the stairs.

  • The girls began to sing the national anthem.

  • [protestors singing]

  • [overlapping shouts]

  • [man] Stop!

  • Stop!

  • [man screaming]

  • I'm falling!

  • [woman shrieking]

  • What the hell are you doing? Why?

  • [screaming]

  • [man] Be careful!

  • The troops beat everyone with iron sticks instead of plastic ones.

  • It seemed that even they were surprised

  • by injuries they had made using them.

  • [man] Why?

  • My friends called me and I heard people screaming and crying,

  • and I immediately understood what was going on.

  • And you want to cry, to run, to break something,

  • because you realize you can't do anything to stop this mass destruction machine.

  • [overlapping shouts]

  • There were girls! Kids were there!

  • They pushed the 18-year-old girl and started beating her.

  • They beat people in the back, people fell down,

  • but they continued beating them.

  • I just wanted to find a girl that got lost there.

  • But they didn't understand that and started beating.

  • They didn't act like human beings.

  • When I asked them why,

  • they answered, "Be grateful you're not being arrested."

  • The motto, "police with people" is absolutely incorrect,

  • because all of them stand entirely with the asshole president.

  • There are such bastards in the police,

  • that I'm not surprised that our president is such a person as Yanukovych.

  • [Eduard Kurganskyi] People who managed to escape from Maidan,

  • moved to Mykhaylivs'kyi zolotoverkhyi Monastery.

  • [man] My friend is injured,

  • he has a concussion and he's in the hospital now.

  • My wife's arm is heavily bruised.

  • I feel well enough, although my head is injured.

  • It's nothing serious.

  • I wanted to take away his stick,

  • but another Berkut came,

  • and shattered my eye with his stick.

  • [Vladimir Kugilyov] At 7:30 a.m., the Berkut pulled up.

  • Their bus stopped at the gate.

  • What do you want from us?

  • -Hello, how are you there? -Oh, come on, stop these provocations.

  • Provocations? You are the one who broke into the church.

  • -Take away your bus and leave! -I said we won't hurt you, okay?

  • -I said we won't hurt you. -You should've thought of that earlier.

  • [indistinct conversations]

  • [girl] At the monastery, we tried to understand what had happened.

  • [girl 2] We were afraid.

  • And if we don't want to be afraid tomorrow,

  • we have to come out and defend our position today.

  • [chanting]

  • [Oleksandr Melnyk] Around 11:00 a.m., there was no free space.

  • The monastery was filled to capacity.

  • We opened a food center...

  • and a drop-off to provide warm clothes.

  • We put tables over there, and created a legal aid center.

  • The medical center was near that wall.

  • An information center was also here.

  • [Ruslana Lyzhychko] The government wanted to stop this at the grassroots level,

  • but the reaction was opposite.

  • [overlapping shouts]

  • [Nayyem] For Ukrainians and the country,

  • it was the first time when the government so openly and brutally

  • demonstrated they're against peaceful protests.

  • Ukraine, wake up!

  • People started protesting because they're sick and tired.

  • At this point, it's not even about European integration anymore.

  • People just want to live in freedom.

  • [man 1] Please don't let them provoke you!

  • [man 2] We are not going to leave. People from all regions of Ukraine...

  • VINNYTSYA LUGANSK

  • ...should come to Kyiv and support us.

  • Our aim is to reverse the existing political regime.

  • [horns honking]

  • [Diana Popova] I have never seen such concentration of testosterone

  • as at Mykhaylivs'ka Square on November 30th,

  • when strong men came out to declare

  • that no one will ever hurt children in this country.

  • [chanting] Shame! Shame!

  • No bruise will be forgotten!

  • No beating must be forgotten!

  • [cheering]

  • [chanting] All together, we are strong!

  • We have to organize a nationwide strike,

  • and deprive the government the right to perform any actions!

  • -Enough! Take action! -[cheers and applause]

  • Kyiv, stand up!

  • Everyone realized that if today students are beaten...

  • tomorrow, anyone can be beaten as well.

  • From that came the "March of the Millions."

  • Such rallies of a million people were our hope to be heard.

  • [chanting] To Maidan!

  • [Anna Levitanskaja] There were people with baby strollers, elders,

  • disabled people on crutches... It was amazing!

  • We realized that we could change something.

  • WE ARE AGAINST THE POLICE STATE

  • ONLY A COWARD CAN HURT A CHILD

  • [chanting] They give us corruption! We give them revolution!

  • [Volodymyr Parasyuk] Everyday people, teachers,

  • doctors, street cleaners,

  • everyone, the whole country said, "This must stop!"

  • [Svyatoslav Vakarchuk] I'd like all of us to remember

  • that there are two European values:

  • freedom and human dignity.

  • And no one can deprive us of them.

  • These are fundamental rights that we must fight for.

  • Today all of us are here, regardless of our political views,

  • people from different cities, from all over Ukraine,

  • speaking different languages.

  • We all came here to fight for one thing: for our freedom, our dignity.

  • Ukraine, we are all together!

  • [cheers and applause]

  • [Said Ismagilov] One million people, outraged by such barbaric cruelty.

  • They showed the government must not enrage the nation.

  • This inspired me very much.

  • Our people are not without rights and they are not cowards.

  • [man] Brothers and sisters!

  • Yanukovych and his gang raised a hand against our children!

  • He thought that we would be scared and hide!