Ukraine 14 Nov 2014 00:00
The protests that flared up on the main square of Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kiev sought to topple the corrupt Soviet government. One year after the start of the Maidan revolution, the country is fighting the Russia-backed separatism in the Donbas region.
Despite the mutual ceasefire agreement laid out in the Minsk Memorandum signed on September 19, gunfire continues on the daily basis in the east of the country.
During several days spent on the front lines near the Donetsk Airport, the motivation and patriotism of the Ukrainians are evident. Young volunteers, many of whom are still in the university or have recently graduated, were pacifists a year ago, but now they can handle weapons and are not afraid to die for their country. The Ukrainian Army is just behind their lines, but key tasks are entrusted to the volunteers of the ultranationalist organisation the Right Sector, and the Dnipro battalion.
The voluntary army feeding on nationalism and armed with trophy weapons captured from the separatists sends a clear message to the Ukrainian government: “When we are done in the Eastern Ukraine, we are coming for you.”
“We have never believed in the illusion of Independent Ukraine. The government is still staffed with the same Soviet relics that take pleasure in putting spokes in the wheels of the European Ukraine,” says Yashkin, the volunteer of the Right Sector.