"There are no tyrannies that would not try to limit art, because they can see the power of art. Art can tell the world things that cannot be shared otherwise. It is art that conveys feelings."

 - Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine 

Уяви Україну – Митець як свідок / Imagine Ukraine – The Artist as a Witness

© Oleksandr Burlaka. Photo: Pat Verbruggen
February 18, Lypska st., Kyiv / 18 лютого, вул. Липська, Київ, 2014

The picture was shot by Oleksandr Burlaka on the morning of February 18 2014, the most dramatic day of the Maidan revolution. That morning the protesters marched peacefully from Maidan towards the Verkhovna Rada, which was surrounded by the armed Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Vehicles of the Ministry of Internal Affairs blocked the streets, forming barricades, watering people with water and light-noise grenades. Confrontation began. From time to time the police came to the attack and retreated again under the rain of the pavement stones thrown by the peolpe.

After a series of targeted attacks on protesters with firearms that evening, authorities launched an attack, pushing the protest back to the Maidan, leaving the bloodied people behind. The assault, which the Yanukovych authorities called an anti-terrorist operation, began. Barricades, a tent camp and the Trade Union House, where protesters had set up a hospital at the time, were on fire. As a result of clashes on and around the Maidan on February 18, 18 activists were killed and 500 were injured.