It was a far cry from the mass protests of the Orange Revolution.
Seven years on, the remnants of Ukraine’s pro-democracy movement gathered in Independence or Maidan Square. But with an anniversary protest banned, police moved into the iconic site in Kiev.
Viktor Yanukovych, the loser in the uprising against rigged elections, is now President. But he should still fear Ukraine’s revolutionary spirit, according to opposition deputy Andriy Parubiy. “As Maidan ruined him in 2004,” he says, “Maidan will ruin him in the future.”
The Orange Movement today is in tatters. One of its leaders, Yulia Tymoshenko, has been jailed for abuse of office in what she says is a political vendetta.
But, as a much reduced rally was staged in Independence Square, some still believe.
“I am here because I do not think that our Orange Revolution was betrayed,” said one young woman. “I think everything depends on us.”
“My attitude towards the Orange Revolution is positive in general,” a man said. “The consequence of it is a different matter. However all that happened at that time was a positive shift in our society.”
Our correspondent in Kiev, Sergio Cantone, said:
’People who have gathered in Maidan to celebrate the anniversary of the Orange Revolution have been met with riot police. While Yulia Tymoshenko is still in jail, tensions seem to be on the rise in the country.”
Also read: Ukraine’s faded orange