Two years after Maidan, the First Channel of Ukrainian television showed on a daily basis 4-5 minute clips produced by our foundation. The clips were based on interviews made during our Maidan Oral History Project, and each relates to what happened that particular day. They give a concise yet impressive overview of what happened during Maidan.

In order to make our video’s more accessible, we have decided to divide the Maidan period into three phases, each marking a new level in the standoff between the Yanukovich regime and the Ukrainian population.
The first phase of Maidan started with demonstrations on Maidan in favor of the signing of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. The demonstrations increased in size when President Yanukovich changed position and decided against signing. The ruthless beating of students on the square during the night of November 30 deeply enraged the Ukrainian population and led to ever-larger groups of citizens joining the demonstrators. The first period ended with the first major attack by riot police Berkut to end the occupation of the square, which completely failed.

During the second phase of Maidan, the demonstrations became bigger and bigger, paralyzing the center of Kyiv. Crowds of up to a million people would gather on the square, creating the largest demonstrations ever in Ukrainian history. The atmosphere was increasingly tense, but remained optimistic and joyful, and the carefully guarded perimeter of Maidan was probably the safest area in town. It ended with pitched battles on Hrushevsky Street and the first deaths among demonstrators both at Maidan and those abducted.

The third phase of Maidan was characterized by continuous attempts by the authorities to end the demonstrations, terrorize those who supported Maidan and create a standoff between the Maidan demonstrators and hired thugs, “titushki”, who roamed the streets of Kyiv and beat up alleged supporters of Maidan. It ended with war-liked scenes at Maidan that culminated in the killing of dozens of demonstrators on Institutska Street and the subsequent escape of President Yanukovich, first to Eastern Ukraine and then on to Russia.


© Maidan Memorial