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We always knew there would be final assault. President and his gang can't just leave, for them it would mean to go to jail so it was obvious they wouldn't go without trying all possible means to stay at power.
People waiting for assault. Stones carefully selected.
One of favorite topic of discussion among Maydan people has been strength of barricades. They been talking all the time what kind of tank or army vehicle would go through this barricade or though that. I thought those were useless, idle talks but now I see they were not for it is really barricades that saved Maydan and saved us.
Here is small molotova cocktail factory.
We knew the attack was planned because there was no light on the streets and they shut down underground trains- our metro. The assault began 8 pm on January 18 and lasted all night.
First two vehicles couldn't go through barricades, they got stuck and have been burned down by protesters. The element of surprise was ruined. Next police went ahead but they lost few men and pulled back.
Not many photos of that night. Photographing was luxury we couldn't afford, we had to pass stones and tires. All had to do something.
Around 20.000 protesters have been on Maydan that night.
In evening we already lost 2 buildings where few thousands protesters lived for weeks. This one was our last building, it was headquarter from first days of uprising with kitchen, hospital, corridors and rooms where people slept. Before uprising it was trade union building. It was stormed by police special forces at night, few hundred police penetrated though the roof. They shot whoever they met inside and burned down the building. We can only guess how many died by number of people missing. More then 350 protesters missing, many burned down to ashes in this building.
At the moment this was happened no one knew what was inside of trade union building, however we noticed police on the roof and it was bad sign. People didn't pay attention on them because another attack left wounded. Then fire broke out from the windows.. people were jumping down, getting down by ropes..
I remember protesters captured one policeman who just lost eye and hand, they wanted to send him to the hospital but it was already in flames...
This night was hell on earth. Police came as close as 30 meters from scene. Those leaders who were on the scene that night got respect of people, we knew they are for real.
The guy with microphone is a politician, from opposition. I never liked him much, but that night he was with us and if sniper was to kill that night he would be first. He actually was shot, but fortunately not heavily. Now he is our interim president. A politician who didn't run at night like that is more than politician, he is a patriot and he will get my vote.
Next day was calm, both sides have been licking wounds. Churches became hospitals. Another function of church is to ring bells when police attack.
At that time on Maydan people gather stones, strengthen barricades.
Ukrainian orthodoxal prist helps protesters.
Next day, January 20 was what we call now "Black Thursday". Protesters attacked in the morning and have been driving police back, some police surrender but then snipers start shooting to protesters from different positions. No one was safe, all area of Maydan have been shot through.
Around hundred people were killed and thousand wounded.
This protester is one of this hundred.
When sniper kill it's like hunt for them and most skillful sniper will hit carotid artery. Half of dead were shot through their necks. This girl was lucky, bullet went directly through her neck and didn't hit her carotid artery. What amazing in this story is that she is a nurse and she was busy with some wounded guy while sniper hit her and she didn't even notice it. She only learned it when someone told her that she shot through her neck.
On this photo you can see protesters are having just sticks and shields. Those are not bullet-proof shields. They could be made from paper, effect would be the same.
At the time when this girl was crying people of president have been packing suitcases.
The biggest mystery which no one understand still is why president and his people start leaving Kiev so suddenly. On the middle of bloodbath they just began evacuating and leaving Kiev in ambulance cars, cash messenger cars where no one would look for them. Roving bandit know how to take off. They were heading to airport where aircraft was waiting for them... to Moskov. To their masters in Kremlin... ok, guys, have nice flight. See you all in Hague, see you in Nuremberg..
Below photos of some people who died on Maydan. (Policemen at the bottom) Russian propaganda says they all extremists. The truth is they are best people of their time in this country. We stood with them against tyranny day and night for 3 month. I am very proud of standing shoulder to shoulder with them against evil of this world. It was the best time and it was the best team, ever.