Kyiv, October 22, 2014 – Despite the success of Maidan in removing former President Viktor Yanukovych, the country is heading in the wrong direction, stated Olesya Zhukovska during her press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. She is student and volunteer nurse who was shot during the violence in Kyiv in February. The failure of the reforms agenda and the war in the east of the country have wrecked the dreams and goals of the Maidan movement, she said.
“All the people who were on Maidan know that we went to Maidan with certain goals, and everyone sees that that goal is not just achieved yet,” said Zhukovska. The country is heading in the wrong direction, especially with the conflict in the east. Even the parliamentary elections this week do not bring Zhukovska much hope about the future. “They will re-elect the parliament, but I don’t see anything good happening,” she stated.
Following her injury, Zhukovska has travelled throughout Europe, speaking or listening to European politicians and average citizens. Although politicians in Europe are often quick to show their support for Ukraine, this has not resulted in much concrete action. “All the promises of what they said, were just words,” Zhukovska stated. European people, she noted, are often indifferent to the plight of Ukrainians, and sometimes even outright hostile.
Despite her pessimism about her country’s contemporary situation, Zhukovska admits that Maidan activists knew Ukraine couldn’t transform overnight. “I would like to see an independent country, independent of other countries especially Russia,” she stated. “I would like to see European salaries.” Asked if she would have gone to Maidan if she could have foreseen the outcome, Zhukovska said that she would do it all again. “I don’t feel pity for what I did, I would do it again.”