It came as no surprise yesterday when I saw that the Lenin statue in Kyiv had been torn down by protestors. It had been a long standing tourist attraction for many who visited the capital. The 24 hour guard always gave a hint that all was not well with some citizens though. Having survived numerous attacks, yesterday saw protestors pull the statue down and decapitate it.
It reminded me of my visit to Tallinn, Estonia back in 2007 when protests were taking place against ‘The Bronze Soldier’ monument. It consisted of a soldier in a Red Army uniform which people felt, after gaining their independence from Russia should be removed. Similar to the Lenin statue it had been on the receiving end of numerous attacks and a 24 hour guard had to be placed around this also.
There were numerous attempts to relocate ‘The Bronze Soldier’ but these were met with opposition from those in favour of keeping the monument where it was. Eventually when it was moved to a secret location, it resulted in 1 death, 153 people injured and over 800 arrests. This was then followed by 2 nights of rioting by ethnic Russians living in Tallinn.
Does seem like deja vu doesn’t it? I’ll be honest though. I’ve got mixed feeling about this. Ideally, I would have liked to have seen Lenin kept somewhere as a reminder of past times. Many former Soviet countries do have a ‘museum of occupation’ which does just that. To remind people of a certain time in history never to be forgotten.
Latest reports are that fragments of the Lenin monument are now available to purchase online. Failing that, get yourself down to Andrivsky next time you’re in town. I’m sure someone will have some knocking about!
I can’t claim the credit for discovering this video. It came via Jeremy Nicholl who posted it on Twitter earlier today. Sit back and enjoy!
As anyone on here will probably know, I’m fairly active on Twitter and use it more as a professional tool for my freelance work than for anything else. And as you would expect, most of my tweets relate to my photography projects in Ukraine.
I think it would also be fair to say that the majority of people that I follow are in the photography / media industry or connected with Ukraine in some way. It’s not how I planned it, but it is what it is. It’s been a great source for connecting with people whom I would have never have made contact with otherwise.
Like many people, I don’t always ‘follow back’ either. The reason being is that I try to control the content on my home page so that it’s relevant to me.
It’s not often I’m stuck for words, but when I saw the tweet below words failed me.
Technically, it’s not the greatest image I’ve ever taken, but without doubt it was the content that mattered here. The protests are ongoing and continue throughout the whole of the UK.
After creating a blog post earlier this week titled ‘Why Ukrainians Must Now Vote With Their Feet’ I never expected it to make much of an impact (although I always remained optimistic).
The post was aimed at high profile figures such as pop stars and sports men and women within Ukraine, and encouraged them to make a stand during the #EuroMaidan #ЄвроМайдан protests. A big request I know, but I was pleased to hear that Ukrainian pop star Kamaliya Zahoor was prepared to make a stand and had planned to visit Maidan where the protests are taking place.
Kamaliya posted the following statement below on her Facebook page yesterday. What’s needed now of course, is more people like Kamaliya to come forward.
Last night saw some of the worst trouble on the streets of Kyiv for sometime. As well as innocent protestors, over 40 journalists were injured with many being beaten by Police. The video below shows some of the best footage recorded so far.
No one can help but notice what has been happening in Ukraine this past week. As demonstrations continue to take place all over the world in support of #euromaidan #євромайдан there is still more to be done. But protesting on the streets is only one way to fight this thing. Social media is by far the biggest and most accessible weapon available to the masses.
If your favourite Ukrainian pop singer, footballer, hockey player anyone else for that matter isn’t nailing their flag to the post and telling the world about this situation then vote with your feet. Yes, that’s right. Walk away from them. Don’t buy their records, football shirts, attend their matches or concerts. ’You’ the people need to take this campaign to the next level. Lets put this into perspective. Those pop stars, actors and sportsmen and women are in a great position to tell the world and use any influence or power they have to help change things, yet they are choosing not to.
Tweet your favourite Ukrainian idol, write a post on their Facebook wall etc….. You get the idea? You have the upper hand here. If they don’t respond, then boycott their concerts or sports games. Simples. If all those people understand is money then hit them where it hurts. Yes, it’s now time for Ukrainians to vote with their feet, and if they do then this could turn out to be a real game changer.
Earlier today I took it upon myself to tweet a message to Kamaliya Zahoor the Ukrainian popstar and former Mrs.World (2008). For those not in the know, Kamaliya is also the wife of Mohammad Zahoor, owner of the Kyiv Post newspaper. The lovely Kamaliya has 97,00 followers on Twitter so it’s fair to say if she has something to say then people listen. Twenty five minutes later I received a reply.
I have to hand it to her though. I never actually expected a response, and since my original tweet Kamaliya has taken it upon herself to tweet a few times referencing the #EuroMaidan #ЄвроМайдан protests. You see, it does work.