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Ukraine: ‘Real war in Kyiv now’

Photo Credit: mac_ivan [Flickr]

Sean Gibson gathers the scattered coverage of what’s gone on in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv – and beyond  – in the past day, as Maidan protests intensified from a stand-off with authorities to out-and-out pitched conflict in the streets.

Reports suggest that there have been upwards of 20 deaths as well as more than 1,000 injured people admitted to Kiev hospitals overnight.  Sources in the capital say that there are still 30,000 protesters manning the Maidan, surrounded by 10,000 riot police and armed forces.

Below you’ll find everything you need to get your head around what happened and just how exactly it happened, from videos and images to the words of ordinary people and both local and foreign journalists.  Their thoughts and their records speak volumes.

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This video emerged just in time to be shown on the BBC News at 10 in the UK. Fire raining down on an armoured vehicle.

Kyiv-based radio journalist Maxim Eristravi tweeted developments – his verdict on the gravity of the current conflict between authorities and protesters was accompanied by this chilling video post.



Evidence of protesters tending to the bodies of victims of the day’s fatal violence, before nightfall.


Rumours began to fly in the evening of a city-wide blackout and the government’s deployment of hired ‘thugs’…



These enforcers did not wait long before claiming their first victims, according to several sources on Twitter.





Alongside all this, opposition leaders accused President Yanukovych of keeping them waiting while these hired soldiers went to work on the protesters.


Meanwhile the UK newspapers prepared their front page coverage for the next day, Wednesday.



The more creative coverage coming out of Ukraine didn’t taken long either.



The Wall Street Journal‘s deputy bureau chief in Moscow – and specially assigned Maidan correspondent – tweeted of injuries, deaths and attempts to rejoin the fighting from the field hospital set up at Kyiv’s St Michael’s Cathedral.


Well-known Ukrainian activist Doctor Olga Bogomolets was reported to have put the number of injured at 1,000.



At one point rumours sparked that opposition leader Oleksandr Turchynov had been shot by a sniper – perhaps even shot dead. But the rumours slowly distilled to truth.



Reports circulated that Kiev’s Trade Union building, a key opposition stronghold, had been set ablaze – with people trapped inside.

The US Ambassador – Geoffrey Pyatt – got involved, too, helping to direct traffic in the middle of the night.


The surge in conflict was not confined to Kyiv, as protesters make themselves heard – and seen – in Lviv.


Edward Lucas, senior editor at The Economist, issued a call for action late in the night.


Politicians in other nations worldwide began to act – although initially with as little success as the Ukrainian opposition leaders had enjoyed.





In a long, long day of violent clashes, it was not only the protesters who suffered but the authorities, as both the debris and the hospitals testified.



Pandeia will continue to track the development of events in Ukraine.  For alternative sources and to view a liveblog of the day’s major happenings, visit The Interpreter magazine’s website, and go to the Kyiv Post via this link to see a photoessay of the Maidan in flames.  Don’t forget to follow Pandeia on Twitter, too – it’s the fastest way we can let you know what we know.

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What’s missing from this narrative?  Have you seen a different perspective in Kyiv? Where is this current outbreak of violence going to lead?  Let us know your view in the comments below.

Lead photo credit: mac_ivan [Flickr]

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