Leading Ukrainians Call for Commemoration of Maidan’s Anniversary

Leading Ukrainians Call for Commemoration of Maidan’s Anniversary
November 17, 2014.

Kyiv, November 17, 2014. As the first anniversary of the start of the Euromaidan movement approaches this month, there will be several events to commemorate the movement and those who sacrificed their lives for Ukraine’s democratic and European ideals. Events on Kyiv’s central Maidan Nezalezhnosti Square and at surrounding landmarks will both honor the sacrifices of the Ukrainian people and remind citizens that much work remains undone. This was stated at Ukraine Crisis Media Center by several prominent Ukrainians, including journalist-turned-politician Mustafa Nayyem, Minister of Culture Yevhen Nyshchuk, the director of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory Volodymyr Viatrovych, and civil activist Svitlana Zalishchuk of the CHESNO movement.

The upcoming events in central Kyiv will include a photo gallery dedicated to those who have sacrificed their lives on Maidan and in eastern Ukraine, a concert, and a film viewing at the Ukrainian House on European Square. The Maidan commemorations will also overlap with traditional annual commemorations of the Holodomor, the forced famine during 1932-1933 that killed millions of Ukrainians. The events will start with a wreath laying ceremony at the cross on Instituska Street for the Heavenly Hundred, the name for the approximately one hundred activists who died during Euromaidan. “For me, and many other people, Euromaidan started on November 21st at half past ten,” said Nayyem. He called on people to gather at the square at this time.

The speakers reminded people that the events are not a celebration, but a way to honor the movement, its ideals, and those who have sacrificed for them. “This is not for entertainment, these are not entertaining songs [at the concert], these were the songs that were present at Maidan,” stated Nyshchuk. Although the Ukrainian government will help organize the event, it is not a government-run commemoration of Maidan. “I call upon all political forces to abstain from using their banners,” said Nayyem. Anyone should be permitted to speak and express their opinions, but political factions should be not emphasized over Ukrainian unity and remembrance. “We don’t want this Maidan to be reserved by any political party, not to be reduced to a banner, a politician, or a political party,” he added.

The speakers emphasized that the goals of Euromaidan have not yet been achieved, and that there remains much work to be completed. “We do not see the results of Maidan, we see the results of the war,” stated Nayyem. “It’s very important not to divide ourselves and not to split ourselves,” said Zalishchuk. “People all around the region are looking to Euromaidan,” from Belarus to Armenia, she added.

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