Ukraine - Kiew

Maidan Square

Paco Serinelli

Kiev, Ukraine. April 2014

For several months at the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014, Maidan Square in Kievwas the epicenter of battle for the heart of Ukraine. Before Russia annexed Crimea and a Malaysian passenger jet was shot down over Eastern Ukraine, crowds gathered in Maidan.

Those gatherings became the site of prolonged protests and clashes between Ukrainians favoring either closer ties with the European Union or with Russia, the dominant state under the former Soviet Union of which Ukraine was a part.

Though the focal point of that struggle has shifted – Crimea was annexed by Russia after a controversial referendum, and parts of the industrial east remain under rebel pro-Russian control – the split was between the Ukrainian-speaking majority in the west and the Russian-speaking minority in the east remains.