Today I had a tour of Kiev.
Outside the bell tower of Saint Sophia’s Cathedral, I saw my first memorial to those who died during the protests on Maidan.
I got my first views of Maidan from the top of the tower.
It was strange to think that this was the same place I had seen burning on TV, and where people had had to jump out to try and save their lives.
I saw my first barricade outside St. Michael’s Cathedral. Students had fled into the complex to escape from the police at the beginning of the protests in November 2013.
There were also tents outside St. Michael’s Cathedral, which I didn’t realise, as I thought all of the protesters were living on Maidan.
After the tour, I went around Maidan with a woman who had been there on the worst day, the day when the Trade Unions building was burnt. She told me about her experiences, and those of her son and daughter. I cried. It was eerily quiet considering the number of people there. Night fell while we walked around.
From now on, whenever I smell woodsmoke, I will remember Maidan.
When I see red carnations, I will remember Maidan.
The people will not leave until they are sure those who run their country are doing it right. The people who came from all over Ukraine to fight for their rights, people from Kiev, Kharkiv, Crimea, Lvov, and many other places. Politicians will no longer be allowed to line their pockets at the expense of the people. And the people who died in the square will not have died in vain.
These are a selection of the photos I took on the square.
There is a long way to go until Ukraine becomes a 21st-century democracy.
But the first steps have been taken.