Am I the only one waiting for a protest band to form with the name Iron Maidan?
A couple of background items Kovzhun doesn’t mention, possibly because he assumes that everybody knows: one of the reasons that eastern Ukraine has a great deal of support for close ties with Russia is that when Stalin depopulated that part of the country with a created famine, Russian colonists were brought in to replace the 7 million or so killed Ukrainians. That part of the country remains largely Russian-speaking; the surprising thing is that so many of these ex-Russians do support greater Ukrainian independence and closer ties with Europe. Russia, meanwhile, needs the Ukraine because, in spite of the major drop in agricultural productivity caused by collectivisation, the Ukraine continues to be the prime source of grain for the ex-Soviet Union. The coal, iron and manganese don’t hurt, either.
The other item worth mentioning is the red-and-black flags scattered among the blue-and-gold Ukrainian flags in the Maidan–the red-and-black banner is the flag of the Ukrainian Insurrectionist Army, which continued fighting the Soviet invasion for about a decade after WW II, with forces of up to divisional strength, with no support from the West. Putin, Yanukovich & Co. are certainly not happy to see that flag.
This is great and fascinating. I’m looking forward to hearing more.
Just as a factual aside: There are recorded cases of suicides shooting themselves in the head multiple times. You don’t always hit the brain with the first shot and not every brain injury is instantly fatal or incapacitating. (Which is not to dispute the specific account provided here.)
Thank you for the descriptions and explanations. It seems the American media isn’t paying much attention to what’s happening in Kiev right now. Even the descriptions on the BBC were pretty vague.
English Russia has some pretty intense series of photos.
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