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Civic activity

A year later, in 1990, the Revolution On Granite  (students’ hunger strike) took place in Kyiv. Our  youth raised pitched tents in the city centre  against the new Union agreement and opposing  falsification of the presidential election results. The  peop Almost a decade later, an abnormal snowfall in  March 2013, nicknamed ‘the snow blockade,’  brought private cars and public transport to a  standstill. Multitudes of Kyivites struggled to get  home. But people readily helped each other as best  as possible, as if rehearsing a unity they might need  later.    

It was the following autumn when Ukrainians  gathered again at the Maidan Nezakezhnosti called  Maidan in our country. The Y generation, by now  students, protested this time against President  Viktor Yanukovych’s reversing independent  Ukraine towards Russia. The special police  division (SWOT) called Berkut brutally dispersed  the crowd using explosives and batons on  students, leaving many wounded. Ironically, the  government used a Christmas tree installation as  a reason to justify its cruelty. People would later  call it the Bloody Christmas Tree.  Parents stood up for their children, the dispersed  students. The confrontation soon grew into the  Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity, which saw many  casualties.    

Russia’s avenged by annexing Crimea and start-  ing a war in Donbas. And all this led to Rus- sia’s  reputation as a country-aggressor. Living up to  this name now, Russian-controlled militants and  military personnel seized part of the Donetsk and  Luhansk regions.    

At first, Ukraine, not ready for a war,relied upon  volunteers to defend the state. Volunteers  formed their first battalion from the Maidan Self-  Defense forces.    Never before had our country seen such a volun-  teer movement. Many in it had left well-paid  jobs to fight for Ukraine. Free-willed patriots and  serving military received tremendous support from  ordinary people.    

The most significant public events in Ukraine 1991–2021 were“Ukraine without Kuchma” (2000–2001), a  campaign organised by the opposition and  aimed at the resignation of President Leonid  Kuchma.    

“Make a gift to Ukraine! Switch to Ukrainian!“  (2007–2008). The project of the “Don’t be  indifferent” public organisation encouraged  Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine to switch  to the Ukrainian language.    

Protests for the right to peaceful gatherings  (2010–2013. A Series of events held against  the legislative restriction on the freedom of  peaceful gatherings, which lasted throughout  Viktor Yanukovych’s presidency.    

“Don’t buy Russian!” or “Boycott Russian!”  (Early 2013). This campaign urged people to  boycott Russian goods in response to Russia’s  trade and export blockade of Ukraine.    

“Light a candle.” Every year, Holodomor  (Hunger) Remembrance Day is held on the last  Saturday of November. Lit candles appear in  windows at 4 p.m.    

The living chain of the Synod. An annual action  dedicated to Ukraine’s Unity Day. Participants  symbolically unite the banks of the Dnieper  River with a ‘living chain’ on the Paton Bridge,  which stretches over 1.5 km in Kyiv. A line  of people from the left bank symbolises the  Ukrainian People’s Republic; the right is the  Western Ukrainian People’s Republic. Together  they are the unitary Ukraine.    

Equality-based Kyiv Pride parade is an annual  march in support of LGBT+ rights.  

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