Kyiv, February 20, 2015. Around 400 relatives and friends of activists have who were killed in mass shootings at Maidan on February 18-20 arrived to Kyiv to pay tributes to the Heavenly Hundred Heroes. “Events of February last year have changed the history and launched Ukraine’s pathway toward European integration,” Roman Savchak, press-secretary of the “Families of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes” foundation, told this during the press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Every relative made a brief address to the Ukrainian nation. “I am asking myself one question over and over again: why did the former regime took so many lives?” Lesya Lysak, sister of killed Roman Senyk, said. Ms. Lysak addressed the Ukrainian authorities and the whole nation that these crimes that led to deaths of more than a hundred peaceful protesters cannot be forgotten. “We do not want punishment, but we ask for justice,” she said.
Family members of Mikhail Zhyznevsky came to Kyiv as well. Zhyznevsky was a Belarusian activist who became one of the first victims of violent clashes with the ‘Berkut’ riot police at the Hrushevkoho Street on January 19-22, alongside with Serhiy Nigoyan. “There are many people in Belarus who support the Ukrainians. We are grateful to you for keeping the memory about Mikhail alive; we want to urge all of you to unite for the development of your country,” Zhyznevsky’s father said.
Many of the relatives told about the lives of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes before they joined the Euromaidan protesters, fighting for the honor and dignity of the Ukrainian nation. Viktoria Opanasyuk told about her perished husband Valeriy. He took to the streets, hoping for a better future for his four children. Iryna, mother of the killed 19-year Roman Huryk, urged everyone to preserve the passion for living and always help others. “It was his lifelong motto,” Iryna Huryk said.
The Revolution of Dignity transformed the entire Ukrainian society. The mother of Ivan Panteleev, currently living in Kramatorsk, told that her son preached for reconciliation and unity among his fellow countrymen from Donbas. “My son loved his homeland. Although we had Ukrainians, Poles, Lithuanians, Tatars and Russians among our ancestors, he always saw himself as a Ukrainian,” she said. Panteleev’s mother urged the Ukrainians not to shoot each other, as well as addressed mothers of the Russian soldiers not to send their loved ones to war in eastern Ukraine, which takes more lives everyday.