March 5, 2014. “The situation appears relatively calm in Kiev; the violence has moved to Crimea where Russia has huge economic military interests. . . . There is great uncertainty in Kiev and throughout Ukraine. You can feel the exploding emotion in this historic moment for Europe, even if it is not clear what will happen in the coming months. . . . The people find it difficult to put together what they need to survive.
The different factions in the country are not as uniform as one might think – Russians, Cossacks, Tartars, Slavs, Ukranians, Polish – they are divided into many different religious and often conflicting groups. Therefore, recent pro-Russian nationalist flare-ups are no real surprise, which are rooted in the brutal repression and violent reprisals that occur here every ten or twenty years.
One night in Maidan Square. Notwithstanding the cold, thousands of students have not abandoned their tents. A mausoleum in the open air. . . .
Night has already fallen when I reach the square. The silence in the streets is surreal, hardly any cars, no sign of police. . . .
This is where the first students were murdered, hit by snipers posted on top of government buildings, rather than by the police. There are vigil lights and flowers everywhere. This is where these students brought down the president by their determination. The country has been split in two, but this crowd – made fertile by the blood of martyrs – does not seem to want to give up.
It’s quite cold and people gather around bonfires; they sip warm drinks offered to them by the Kights of Malta, the Red Cross and other volunteers. . . .
Maidan vibrates for Crimea. Opinions vary, but hope for a free and independent Crimea has not diminished. . . . Through an appeal launched on social networks, the population has begun cleaning the great park in front of the Parliament building, as well as Maidan Square and its surroundings. Men, women, elderly and children are working to erase every trace of the long Kiev battle. A day chasing reports coming from Crimea. . . . Now for the diplomacy and hard work. Everyone is hoping for mediation from the European Union and the United Nations.
A doctor who has been generously working at treating the wounds and illnesses in Maidan Square at an improvised hospital in the Ukraine Hotel asked me: ‘Is it truly so difficult to imagine a Ukraine that is neither Russian nor American, but only itself?’ The situation is certainly serious and everyone is aware, perhaps today more than yesterday, that the future of Europe is being played out in this historic square. . . .
But the people of Maidan remain in my heart, with their vigil lamps and flowers. Ordinary people who have come today to venerate the place where hundreds of their children were martyred. It is for these people that Europe must intervene. With diplomacy. Weapons have had their opportunity at resolving conflicts.”
By Michele Zanzucchi
Fonte: Città Nuova online