Sunday, February 23, 2014

Simple thoughts on the not so simple revolutionary events in Ukraine

"There is a party that kills people." That is the simple statement that I saw posted on a billboard while I was in Lviv this morning. The party this billboard refers to is the Party of Regions, the (until today) pro-presidential party.

Yulia and I went into the city yesterday, and these are the things we noticed in a revolutionary Lviv. Upon entering the city, our bus went through a checkpoint of sorts. Basically, the Maidan self defense team stacked tires to narrow the lanes and made a speed bump to slow traffic down. They did not stop us. My thoughts are that they are simply on the lookout for military or police vehicles or titushky (if they could spot them).

As we read in the news, many ATMs are not working, out of money, or have a limit to how much cash they dispense. One of my main objectives in going to the city was to buy roof shingles for our house, so the lack of working ATMs made it difficult to get enough cash for what I needed. It's alright though. As Yulia and I see it, it's worth going through some inconveniences now for what we hope will be a better future.

And really, that's all I noticed in terms of big changes in the city. I had to return home to bring back the supplies I got for ремонт (home renovations) and take care of the animals. Yulia stayed behind and went to Lviv Euromaidan today, so I'm sure she has a more comprehensive picture of what's going on.

Here at our village we've had spotty electric and internet service all week. It may or may not be related to the larger nationwide crisis. Our church rang its bell in mourning after mass casualties on Wednesday and Thursday. I also heard them today after news came out that Yanukovych (sort of) resigned. Many of our neighbors have Ukrainian flags accompanied by black ribbons hung up on their houses, and our neighbors across the street put a candle in their window to mirror the candle I put in ours in remembrance of the lives lost this week.

While the situation in most Ukrainian cities was hot this week, life in the countryside remained relatively unchanged. We're just far enough from any major urban areas that our sky was so dark that it was bright, electrified with stars. After watching the turmoil on the news it was surreal to step outdoors and be enveloped by the calm.

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